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Powerful Deep-Sea Earthquake Damages Buildings in Indonesia

A 7.6 magnitude quake jolted Indonesia’s east coast on Tuesday. The event was not as devastating as last November’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake in the nation’s most populous province, West Java. But, while it didn’t cause a cascade of mass deaths, it did flatten many homes and buildings in the process. It also generated an impressive number of aftershocks, at least a few felt in faraway destinations like northern Australia. No injuries or fatalities have been reported near the epicenter. But the tsunami specter is looming on the horizon.

The epicenter of this quake is located in the Banda Sea, about 60 miles north of the Maluku province and a little more than halfway to the Tanimbar Islands, home to around 127,000 people. Although a tsunami warning was issued, there was hardly a ripple. On the other hand, at least four tsunami alerts were issued. Not to mention, the jittery residents opted to flee the scene. However, preliminary reports indicate that the damage could be better than expected.

Getting an earthquake off the ground is no small feat, and the event is nothing short of a national security matter. For this reason, the nation’s top-notch armed forces and other security agencies are on alert. Hopefully, no significant damage or casualties will be reported in the coming days. However, the government is looking into the possible damage to infrastructure, especially railways and roads. Meanwhile, the earthquake has prompted the closure of many schools, and a fair amount of office space has been shuttered.

There is no doubt that Indonesia is a seismically active country, and this 7.6 temblor is a reminder of that. Fortunately, the government is well-placed to respond promptly to this and any future calamities. As for the aftershocks, Indonesians can expect to feel them shortly. Luckily, the country isn’t as susceptible to tsunamis as other parts of the globe, although it is still best to be prepared. During the early hours of Tuesday morning, a flurry of news conferences was held, with various authorities presenting the latest on the damage to the nation’s most populated regions.

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