Quake-hit Indonesians refuse to leave high ground

17 Avril, 2019, 14:58 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Indonesia Earthquake

Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has lifted the tsunami alert issued after a 6.9-magnitude quake struck off the coast of the country's island of Sulawesi.

Right after the quake, the BMKG issued an early tsunami warning. However, there weren't any immediate reports of the caused casualties or damages. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

While one resident of quake-hit Luwuk city reportedly died after falling while trying to flee, the agency has not reported any confirmed deaths or injuries.

The warning was later lifted by the disaster agency, which had estimated the wave at under a half a metre (20 inches).

A tsunami alert had been sounded following the 6.8 magnitude natural disaster in the region, which is still reeling in the aftermath from September's dual earthquakes and tsunami which claimed a staggering 4,340 lives.

The quake struck at 18:40 (local time) with an epicentre 10 kilometres under the seabed, the agency said.

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Video footage from Luwuk city showed scared residents - some carrying children - running from their homes and racing to higher ground on motorcycles.

The quake was "strong and long lasting", Gina Saerang, a resident of Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province, several hundred kilometers from the epicenter, said on social media.

The force of last year's quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction - a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.

Indonesia has said the damage bill in Palu topped US$900 million.

As Indonesia lies in the highly seismic Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In December, a deadly tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands killed over 400 people.

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