Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA) – A 7.1-magnitude earthquake jolted the areas of Jailolo Subdistrict in Halmahera Barat District, North Maluku Province, on Thursday at around 11:17 p.m. local time, but there were no immediate reports on casualties in the aftermath of the strong quake.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located around 134 kilometers away from northwest of Jailolo Subdistrict at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to the Winangun Geophysics Station in Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi Province.
“The tsunami warning is issued for the areas of Bitung city in North Sulawesi as well as Halmahera and Ternate in North Maluku,” said Alfa, an operational staff of the Winangun Geophysics Station.
Located on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities, Indonesia is susceptible to natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
On September 26, 2019, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Ambon, Maluku Province, killing at least 38 people and wounded 27 residents in Ambon city, 90 residents in Maluku Tengah District, and 32 residents in Western Seram District.
Due to the trauma and anxiety that local residents still experience in the aftermath of this powerful earthquake, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) recently cautioned Maluku Province’s residents not to believe in rumors, fake news, and misleading information on a powerful earthquake and tsunami that could jolt Ambon, Masohi, and Banda.
The BMKG argued that no one could precisely predict when and where the earthquakes would occur.
During 2018, the BMKG recorded that Indonesia had borne the impact of 11,577 earthquakes, including several causing grave casualties, with the number significantly rising than that in 2017.
The BMKG data showed that 11,577 earthquakes, with varying magnitudes and depths, hit during 2018, while just 7,172 earthquakes were recorded in 2017.
This indicates that Indonesia bore witness to a significant increase in the number of tectonic earthquakes last year.
Several earthquake-related events that had struck Indonesia last year were first of a kind to have occurred, such as the liquefaction in Palu, a tsunami that struck prior to the issuance of a tsunami warning in Palu, and the Sunda Strait Tsunami.