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Strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake shakes western Indonesia, no tsunami alert

By Agencies and published by CNA 

Jakarta – A strong undersea earthquake shook western Indonesia this morning (Jan. 16). But there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

The magnitude 6.2 earthquake was centred 48 km south-east of Singkil, a coastal district in Aceh province at a depth of 37 km, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

It occurred at around 6.30 a.m. local time (10.30 p.m. GMT on Sunday), and USGS revised it up from its initial measurement at 6.0 magnitude with a 48 km depth.

Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) also put it at 6.2 and said that there was no threat of a tsunami, while the country’s disaster agency said there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

“The earthquake caused people to panic. It was felt between three to 10 seconds in four districts in Aceh and North Sumatra province,” Abdul Muhari, a spokesman for the BNPB disaster mitigation agency, said in a statement.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 270 million people, is frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because of its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Nov 21 last year killed at least 331 people and injured nearly 600 in West Java’s Cianjur city. It was the deadliest in Indonesia since a 2018 quake and tsunami in Sulawesi killed about 4,340 people.

In 2004, an extremely powerful Indian Ocean quake set off a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province. 

In Thailand this tsunami killed 4,812 people, injured 8,457 others with 4,499 missing. It was Khao Lak that was hardest hit with many foreign tourists among the victims.

CAPTIONS:

Top: An undersea earthquake shook part of western Indonesia this morning, centred 48 kilometres southeast of Singkil, a coastal district in Aceh province at a depth of 37 kilometres. Image: Google Maps published by Daily Mail

Front Page: Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 270 million people, is frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because of its location.  Stock image of 2004 tsunami damage in Indonesia published by Daily Mail


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