M6.5 Earthquake Kills at Least 4 in Maluku Province, Indonesia

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A strong earthquake struck Indonesia’s eastern Maluku province earlier Thursday, september 25, 2019, killing at least three people and damaging a bridge, hospital and some other buildings.

The M6.5 quake hit about 37 kilometers (23 miles) northeast of Ambon in Maluku province at 8:46 a.m. local time (23:46 GMT), at a depth of 29 kilometers (18 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

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A M6.5 earthquake hit off Maluku Province in Indonesia on September 26, 2019. Map via USGS

The area was hit by at least two dozen aftershocks including a M5.6. Initial reports said the quake struck offshore, but later analysis found it hit onshore, raising the potential for damage.

The inland earthquake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami, but people living along the coast have been seen running to higher ground.

The national disaster mitigation agency said four people had been killed and three others injured. But authorities are still counting.

Two people were killed by falling debris, another died after being buried by a landslide while a woman was killed after falling off her motorbike while fleeing to higher ground.

M6.5 earthquake maluku province indonesia
M6.5 earthquake maluku province indonesia

A main hospital in Ambon was damaged and patients were evacuated into tents in the hospital’s yard.

The strong and shallow earthquake also cracked an important bridge in Ambon.

M6.5 earthquake maluku province indonesia
M6.5 earthquake maluku province indonesia

Thursday’s earthquake comes two days ahead of the first anniversary of the devastating M7.5 magnitude Palu earthquake that killed more than 4,000 people. A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia. Source, Source1, Source2, Source3

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