6.5 Magnitude Strong Earthquake Strikes Indonesia Killing At Least 20 People - Insight Trending

6.5 Magnitude Strong Earthquake Strikes Indonesia Killing At Least 20 People

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6.5 Magnitude Strong Earthquake Strikes Indonesia Killing At Least 20 People


A strong earthquake has destroyed buildings and triggered landslides in the Maluku Islands in Indonesia's east on Thursday morning, at least 20 people have been killed in a magnitude 6.5 earthquake.

The earthquake hit at 6:46 a.m. local time Thursday about 20.5 miles northeast of Ambon in Indonesia's Maluku province, the U.S. Geological Survey said.As per the local official's report, more than 8,000 people have fled home as the earthquake triggered panic among the local populace. 

It was followed by an aftershock of 5.6 magnitudes at 7.39 a.m. (local time). On damages to the public property, parts of a building at an Islamic university collapsed in Ambon, the capital of Maluku province. Local disaster official Albert Simaela said a teacher was killed there when parts of the building fell on her.

6.5 Magnitude Strong Earthquake Strikes Indonesia Killing At Least 20 People
Aisyah Putri/AFP
“He was just getting out of a car and entering a door and the collapsing rubble fell onto him,” Benny Bugis, a cameraman who works for Reuters, said. He also said two people were injured.

"The total number of people who died in the earthquake is 20," Agus Wibowo, spokesman for the national disaster agency, said in a statement on Thursday. "At least 100 people were injured and more than 2,000 evacuated," he added.

Rahmat Triyono, head of the earthquake and tsunami division at Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency, told the AFP news agency the earthquake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami. Still people along the coast fled to higher ground.

"The tremor was so strong, causing us to pour into the streets," said Musa, an Ambon resident who uses a single name.

Simaela said many people drove to higher ground by motorbike and car, causing traffic congestion in Ambon.

"The temblor was so strong, causing us to pour into the streets," said Musa, an Ambon resident who uses a single name. He said there were no injuries or damage in his neighborhood, but that people on social media reported damage elsewhere in the city.

"The impact was felt across Ambon city and surrounding areas," said Rahmat Triyono, head of the earthquake and tsunami division at Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG). 

"Many people were woken up by the shaking... it felt like a truck was passing by."

The area was hit by at least two dozen aftershocks, including one that measured 5.6 magnitude, Triyono said.

6.5 Magnitude Strong Earthquake Strikes Indonesia Killing At Least 20 People
Aisyah Putri/AFP

"The number of casualties and injured persons could change," said Rita Sihombing, a press officer of the national disaster management agency.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes as it lies on a vulnerable quake-impacted zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire".

The temblor damaged a university building, a hospital, a bridge and other buildings in the province, said Farida Salampessy, head of the province`s operation unit of the disaster management agency. (With inputs from IANS)

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