UPDATE: Maluku Island quake toll rises to 23

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that rocked Indonesia’s remote Maluku islands has risen to 23. More than 15,000 people have been evacuated to shelters. Among the confirmed dead, an infant with many killed by falling debris in and around quake-struck Ambon city.

More than 100 people were also injured and at least 15,000 people had to evacuate because their houses were damaged by the strong jolt.

Terrified residents ran into the streets as buildings fell in around them with the 6.5 magnitude quake sparking landslides that buried at least one victim yesterday. Hundreds of houses, offices, schools and public facilities have also been damaged in the disaster. Authorities have set up emergency tents and public kitchen for the evacuees in several districts.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck about 37 kilometres (23 miles) northeast of Ambon in Maluku province at a depth of 29 kilometres. 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.

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SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

UPDATE: Maluku Island quake toll rises to 23 | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: The Tribune

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