6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes off of Indonesia’s West Timor

6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes off of Indonesia’s West Timor

  • Strong quake struck Indonesian island this morning weeks after 400 left dead
  • US Geological Survey confirms huge tremor in region devastated this month
  • Quake hit area which saw 436 killed and hundreds injured in neighbouring island

An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck Indonesia today.

The quake, which registered 6.4 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of Indonesia’s West Timor island at around 8.15am (2.15pm local time), the US Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed.

The huge tremor struck at a depth of 5.3 miles in the sea but no tsunami warning has been issued for the area.

The Holiday Resort Lombok at Senggigi in West Nusa Tenggara province in August 10 this year was left deserted after the powerful earthquakes that struck the Indonesian island killing some 400 people and sent holidaymakers fleeing the area.

Just hours before earthquake a smaller 4.7 magnitude tremor hit the northside of the island.

There are no reports of damage or casualties at this stage.   

Witnesses described a powerful jolt that lasted a few seconds.

An AFP reporter in Kupang said: ‘I was on the second floor of my office and suddenly everybody ran outside because of the earthquake.

‘All the chairs were shaking, we were traumatised by all the earthquakes in Lombok.’

A string of deadly earthquakes that rocked Lombok island this summer killed some 555 people.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. 

Earlier this month 436 people were confirmed dead and more than 236 severely injured in a 6.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked the neighbouring Indonesian tourist island of Lombok.

The island is popular with tourists and the series of earthquakes left terrified holidaymakers fleeing the area, as well as many of the picturesque resorts deserted.

The earthquake was around 60 miles southeast of Kupang – capital of the province of East Nusa Tenggara.

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At least £263 million ($340 million) in damage was caused by the quakes with more than 350,000 people forced to flee their homes.

Locals in the village of Kokok Putek were forced to conduct Friday prayers in damaged buildings surrounded by rubble in the aftermath of the quake. 

The USGS assessment of Indonesia’s earthquake risk reads: ‘The population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist.

Muslim men perform Friday prayers around the damaged mosque in Kokok Putek Village on August 24 this year after the devastating earthquake in East Lombok.

‘The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick with concrete floor and precast concrete frame with wall construction.

‘Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.’

On Boxing Day 2004 a tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused after a magnitude 9.3 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 in 14 countries, including 168,000 Indonesians.

 More to follow. 

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