The U.S. Geological Survey reports that Indonesia has just sustained an earthquake of 6.6 magnitude on the Richter scale. The agency said initially that the magnitude was 6.9, but then geologists nudged it a bit lower. The undersea quake hit off the coast of Irian Jaya, approximately 15 miles north northwest of Sorong at a depth of 14 miles.
No tsunami threat in Indonesia for now
No tsunami warning has been issued, and at least for now, there are no reports of any injuries. According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there currently isn’t a tsunami threat from the earthquake.
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According to the USGS, Indonesians near the epicenter of the earthquake felt it to be very strong. The agency said moderate damage from the quake is possible but that it’s unlikely there will end up being casualties from it.
Indonesia and the Ring of Fire
Indonesia sits along what geologists and experts call the Ring of Fire, which is a major fault line along the Earth’s tectonic plates. The fault line is the source of frequent earthquake activity. Because of Indonesia’s placement along the Ring of Fire, many buildings have been constructed in such a way that they can withstand earthquakes with minimal earthquakes.
The bigger threat in the area is often from tsunamis, like the one that hit in 2004, flooding Aceh province on the western part of Sumatra Island and taking more than 170,000 lives in Indonesia and many thousands more in other Indian Ocean countries. Because the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center isn’t worried about a tsunami threat today, it seems as if the damage from the earthquake will be minimal.