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Indonesia: Strong Earthquake Hits with Tsunami Warning

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide. A strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake has shacked eastern Indonesia and triggering a brief tsunami warning that sent panicked residents fleeing to higher ground.

The quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 17 kilometres off the east coast of Sulawesi Island, and one person died while trying to flee. The US Geological Survey said a 7.5-magnitude quake and tsunami struck near the city of Palu on the other side of the island last year, killing more than 4,300 people. Three light-to-moderate aftershocks occurred in the same area following the initial quake Friday, USGS reported. It warned that considerable damage was possible in poorly built or badly designed structures.

Indonesia’s disaster agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal communities in Morowali district, where residents were advised to move away from the coast. Authorities warn considerable damage to poorly built structures possible in Sulawesi from 6.8-magnitude quake. The warning was later lifted by the agency, which had estimated the wave at under a half a meter. Kompas.com reported that residents panicked as fears soared over an imminent tsunami.

>Alma Siddiqua

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