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UPDATE: At least one dead – Indonesian islands hit with 6.5 magnitude quake

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UPDATE: At least one dead – Indonesian islands hit with 6.5 magnitude quake | The Thaiger
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At least one person has died and another is missing after a strong earthquake struck Indonesia’s remote Maluku islands earlier today, destroying homes and triggering landslides.

Terrified people ran into the streets as buildings fell in around them after the 6.5-magnitude quake hit at around 8:45 local time (0045 GMT).

An official from the local search and rescue agency said one man died after falling off his motorbike while trying to flee to higher ground, while another person was missing after being buried in a landslide.

People in Ambon, a city of about 400,000 people, were seen helping injured residents with blood-stained clothes, while images showed wrecked homes with collapsed walls and rubble strewn on the ground, but the extent of the damage was not immediately clear.

Initial reports said the quake struck offshore, but later analysis found it hit onshore, raising the potential for damage, according to Indonesia’s national disaster mitigation agency.

The Southeast Asian archipelago is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth. It experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

Earlier today…

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit off the remote Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia but no tsunami warning was issued. The quake struck about 37 kilometres (23 miles) northeast of Ambon in Maluku province at 8:46 am local time, at a depth of 29 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage in the area, which has been rocked by strong quakes in the past. Multiple aftershocks have rippled across the area.

Initial reports said the quake struck offshore, but later analysis found it hit onshore, raising the potential for damage, according to Indonesia’s national disaster mitigation agency.

“I was asleep with my family when suddenly the house started to shake,” said an AFP reporter in Ambon.

“The quake was really strong. We ran from our house and saw the neighbours fleeing too. Everybody was panicking.”

Local disaster agency head Oral Sem Wilar called for calm.

“People were panicking and started to evacuate in some places, but we are trying to tell them there’s no need to panic because there’s no tsunami threat,” he told AFP.

“We are still checking on damage and any casualties.”

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

In August, five people died and several were injured after a powerful undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s heavily populated Java island.

Last year, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

The force of the impact saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction — a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.

Nearly 60,000 people are still living in makeshift accommodation nearly a year after the double disaster, the Red Cross said this week.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

UPDATE: At least one dead - Indonesian islands hit with 6.5 magnitude quake | News by The Thaiger

UPDATE: At least one dead - Indonesian islands hit with 6.5 magnitude quake | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Maluku Islands – World Atlas

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Indonesia

UPDATE: At least 34 dead and 600 injured after Indonesia earthquake

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: At least 34 dead and 600 injured after Indonesia earthquake | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Soumyajit Pattnaik via Twitter

UPDATE: At least 34 people were killed after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sulawesi island just after midnight today. As of this evening, reports say more than 600 people were injured during the earthquake which caused buildings to collapse and residents to flee their homes in the dark.

Original story below…

Indonesian island Sulawesi was shook by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shortly after midnight today, toppling over buildings and injuring hundreds. Reports are continuously being updated as rescuers search through rubble. As of early this afternoon, at least 10 people were killed.

Thousands evacuated their homes in West Sulawesi. The earthquake impacted the coastal city Majene where at least 3 people died and neighbouring Mamuju where at least 7 people died. Several buildings, including hotels, were severely damaged and many homes were flattened. A hospital was partially damaged and reports say more than a dozen patients and staff were trapped under the rubble. Others are trapped in rubble after their homes collapsed. A rescuer says “We are racing against time to rescue them.”

Videos have been released of those crying for help. A father crying, calling out for help to save his children under their home’s wreckage. In another, a girl’s voice cried out from a collapsed home, saying “please help me, it hurts.” The video was released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Rescuers say they need an excavator to say the girl and other people who are trapped under the collapsed buildings.

The area was first hit by a 5.9 magnitude undersea quake on Thursday. It damaged several buildings, but no deaths were reported.

Since the most recent earthquake is inland, the district’s disaster agency chief says it does not have the potential to cause a tsunami, but people in coastal areas ran to higher ground just to be safe.

The vast archipelago is located on the “Ring of Fire” of volcanoes and fault lines, prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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Indonesia

Indonesia rolls out Covid-19 vaccinations, president gets first dose

Caitlin Ashworth

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Indonesia rolls out Covid-19 vaccinations, president gets first dose | The Thaiger
PHOTO: President Joko Widodo via Facebook

Indonesia is rolling out its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign with President Joko Widodo as the first in the country to get jabbed with China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine.

Indonesia approved the vaccine for emergency use earlier this week. It’s the first large-scale use of the Sinovac vaccine outside of China. Thailand has also made an agreement to purchase the 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac BioTech shots. The first batch of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive in Thailand next month.

The Thai company Siam Bioscience is producing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Oxford University. That vaccine is set to be available to the Thai public in May.

After Indonesia’s president was vaccinated, top military, police and medical officials in the country were injected with the vaccine. The secretary of the Indonesian Ulema Council were also vaccinated. The council recently agreed that the vaccine is halal, permissible for Muslims.

Mass vaccination in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populated country with 181.5 million people, will be rolled out over the next few months. Vaccines will be free for all Indonesian citizens. Health care workers, civil servants and those at risk of infection are first priority.

To vaccinate two-thirds of the population with the 2-shot vaccine, the country’s health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin says around 427 million doses are needed.

“This vaccine is given to achieve herd immunity. All 70% of the world’s people must be vaccinated for that to be achieved. The participation of all Indonesians will greatly determine the success of this program.”

SOURCE: Associated Press

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Indonesia

Black box data located from the crashed Boeing 737 in Jakarta

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Black box data located from the crashed Boeing 737 in Jakarta | The Thaiger

The black boxes from a passenger plane which crashed in the sea soon after take-off from Jakarta on Saturday have been located. The black box recorders record conversations in the cockpit as well as an array of data from the plane’s control systems. Indonesian ships has been searching the crash site with navy divers hoping to retrieve the two flight recorders over the next 24 hours.

The Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 jet was carrying 62 people when it vanished from radar on its journey to Borneo.

(The crash of the Boeing 737-500 model is likely unrelated to the current controversies surrounding the later Boeing 737 Max model)

Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia’s transport safety, announced late yesterday that they’d located the position of the two black boxes.

“Divers will start looking for them now and hopefully it won’t be long before we get them.”

Family members gathered at the victim identification centre in Jakarta and at a crisis centre in Pontianak, the scheduled destination for the plane, waiting for news of their family and friends.

The seas north of the Jakarta airport are relatively shallow and the weather has improved since the rescue operations started, making recovery easier. Rescue supervisors have admitted it had become a recovery mission, not a search and rescue.

Police are asking families of the victims to provide DNA samples and dental records to assist with the identification process of remains recovered already from the crash site.

The Sriwijaya Air passenger took off from Jakarta airport just after 2.30 in the afternoon on Saturday.

When passing through 11,000 feet the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers. It was flying to Pontianak, in West Kalimantan province in the west of the island of Borneo. The flight should have taken 90 minutes. There was no distress signal sent by the flight crew. The plane dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute indicating a catastrophic failure of the flight systems or break up of the plane.

The plane was carrying 50 passengers, including 7 children and 3 babies, plus 12 crew. Everyone on board was Indonesian.

SOURCE: Reuters | CNN

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