7.3 magnitude earthquake shakes central Indonesian coast, triggers tsunami warning

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December 14, 2021

One earthquake magnitude 7.3 shook the waters of the central region of Indonesia and triggered a tsunami alert on the island of Flores, which was eventually deactivated without serious damage.

The telluric movement, located at shallow depths of the seabed, felt strongly in various places Indonesians, where hundreds of people have fled from their homes and their jobs to take refuge in the highlands of the island.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which records global seismic activity, estimated the quake to have a magnitude of 7.3 degrees and located it at a depth of 18 kilometers, while Indonesian officials have said magnitude 7.4 and placed it 10 kilometers below the seabed.

The intense tremor, which took place at 11:20 a.m. local time (03:20 GMT) and more than 110 kilometers north of Flores Island, leads local authorities to activate an alert for tsunami when determining the existence of a risk in coastal areas.

In a video posted by eyewitnesses on social media, a group of villagers climb a hill from which they closely observe the sea.

The Indonesian Meteorological Department has previously indicated that the sea level could reach half a meter in height.

However, the waves only increased by seven centimeters in some cities, the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency said in a statement, when the tsunami warning was lifted, just under two hours after it was raised. activation.

What else, one person was slightly injured in the town of Manggarai, on the island of Flores, and a school and a few houses were damaged on the island of Selayar, south of Célebres, authorities said.

Dozens of replicas

The earthquake was accompanied by dozens of aftershocks, the strongest of magnitude 5.6, specifies the meteorological service.

Indonesia sits on what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of ​​great seismic and volcanic activity in which around 7,000 earthquakes are recorded each year, most of them moderate.

The lack of maintenance and the theft of certain offshore beacons which determine the possibility of a tsunami after an earthquake have sometimes led to the failure of alarms to be activated to avoid loss of life during a natural disaster.

In September 2018, some 4,340 people died and some 5,000 were missing after a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami. and soil liquefaction in part of the island of Sulawesi.

Three months later, a tsunami killed more than 430 people on the coast of the islands of Java and Sumatra when part of the Anak Krakatau volcano collapsed, between the two islands, after a strong eruption.

The largest tsunami in recent Indonesian history occurred on December 26, 2004, when a magnitude 8.9 earthquake with an epicenter off the island of Sumatra (Indonesia) created a gigantic wave which affected a dozen countries bathed by the Indian Ocean and left around 230,000 dead. , 170,000 of them in Indonesia.




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