Heavy 6.7 earthquake strikes Indonesia; at least one killed

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

At least one person was killed and several dozen more were injured on Monday, after a heavy earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 struck near the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia.

According to US Geological Survey statistics, the epicentre of the quake was sixteen kilometres from the town of Raba (about 1,300 kilometres from the capital Jakarta) at a depth of eighteen kilometres. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that it was unlikely that significant waves would be generated by the tremors.

Indonesia's health ministry crisis centre head said that 38 people were injured and had to be hospitalised by the tremors. He added that a few buildings were damaged, but everything was "under control".

"Residential houses, school buildings, mosques have been damaged, but not all of the buildings are totally destroyed, part of them have collapsed," said police spokesman Tjatur Aprianto.

Indonesia is located on the "Ring of Fire", an area that has frequent seismic activity. Monday's earthquake comes after the country is still recovering from a heavy 7.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the area several weeks ago, killing over a thousand people and destroying hundreds of buildings. In 2004, an even stronger 9.2 earthquake off the coast off northern Sumatra killed close to a quarter of a million people in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and other neighbouring countries.