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At least 1 dead after strong quake in Indonesia

Published:Monday | July 15, 2019 | 8:27 AM
Residents leave their homes to find higher grounds following an earthquake in Ternate, North Maluku, Indonesia, Sunday, July 14, 2019. (AP Photo)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong, shallow earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Sunday, damaging homes and killing at least one person, officials said.

Some people sent the night outdoors as numerous aftershocks rocked the Maluku island chain where the quake was most strongly felt.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.3 quake was centred 103 miles southeast of Ternate, the capital of North Maluku province, at a depth of just six miles.

Shallow quakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said Sunday evening on Twitter that a woman had died, while Ikhsan Subur, a local disaster agency official in Labuha, the town closest to the quake’s epicenter, put the death toll at two.

Authorities said there was no tsunami risk from the quake, but many people ran to higher ground anyway.

TV footage showed people screaming while running out of a shopping mall in Ternate.

Rahmat Triyono, the head of Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami centre, said the initial quake and aftershocks were also felt in some parts of North Sulawesi province, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage there.

With a population of around one million, North Maluku is one of Indonesia’s least populous provinces.

Indonesia, home to more than 260 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

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