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Powerful earthquake shakes Indonesia’s Sumatra, kills 1

The magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck about 40 km (24.8 miles) northeast of Sibolga, a coastal city in North Sumatra province, according to the US Geological Survey. It was 13 km (8 miles) deep.

The pre-dawn earthquake was followed by two 5.0 magnitude aftershocks. (File)

A strong and shallow earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Saturday, killing a resident, injuring 11 and damaging more than a a dozen houses and buildings, police said.

The magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck about 40 km (24.8 miles) northeast of Sibolga, a coastal city in North Sumatra province, according to the US Geological Survey. It was 13 km (8 miles) deep.

The pre-dawn earthquake was followed by two 5.0 magnitude aftershocks.

A 62-year-old man died of a heart attack while fleeing to safety in Tarutung village, which is closest to the epicentre, said local police chief Johanson Sianturi. Eleven people have been injured and at least 15 houses and buildings damaged in the village, he said.

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Authorities were still investigating the full extent of the damage.

A footage released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency showed several residents evacuating an injured person by a van to a hospital while panicked voices cried for help. The agency also showed several people receiving treatment and walls cracked by the earthquake.

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

In February, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

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A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

First published on: 01-10-2022 at 04:16:48 pm
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