Earthquake of magnitude 7 strikes Indonesia’s Sulawesi island: USGS

SINGAPORE: An earthquake of magnitude 7 struck Indonesia`s island of Sulawesi on Friday, said the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the earthquake, which hit 280 km (174 miles) south of the province of Gorontalo at a depth of 43 km (27 miles), the agency added.

This is a developing story. More details are awaited.

The island nation sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the world’s most tectonically active region, and its 260 million people remain hugely vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

Indonesia suffered its biggest and deadliest disaster of 2018. The twin quake-tsunami in Sulawesi island claimed more than 2700 dead and 10,000+ injured. The coastal city of Palu bore the maximum brunt of the 7.5-magnitude quake that struck on September 28. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami, with waves as high as three metres (9.8 feet). Strong aftershocks, with some measuring 6.1 continued for the next few days. Rescue operations were stunted for a long time with agencies trying to access remote and cut-off locations for days. Millions of houses, residential and commercial buildings were damaged with survivors being forced to live in shelters and tents. 

The island nation suffered another natural calamity around Christmas 2018. The tsunami of ​December 23 followed after Anak Krakatau volcano erupted. 

In 2004, a quake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.