A massive earthquake in Indonesia and near Philippines

February 12th, 2009 - 10:49 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Earthquake in IndonesiaOn early Thursday morning, a massive quake occurred the tip of Indonesia , the island of Sulawesi near the Philippines, injuring 17 people and damaging dozens of homes, officials said. Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency issued a tsunami warning immediately after the quake struck at 1.34am AM at epicenter local time and Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 17:34:50 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), but cancelled it about one hour later.

The epicenter of the quake was about 320 kilometers northeast of the Indonesian town of Manado and 280 kilometers southeast of General Santos in the Philippines, according to the US Geological Survey. There were no reports of any damage or casualties in the Philippines.

According to the US Geological Survey the magnitude of the quake in Indonesia was measured at 7.4 on the Richter scale. Several aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 6.3 struck in the hours after the original quake, the USGS reported.

The head of the Indonesian health ministry’s crisis centre, Rustam Pakaya, said houses and public buildings were damaged on the Talaud Islands in North Sulawesi province after the 7.2-magnitude quake hit.

‘Thirty-two houses are lightly damaged. The main hospital has been damaged, with one of its corridors collapsed. The spire of a church has also collapsed,’

‘Up to now, there are 17 people wounded, one of them seriously. Some of those being treated had to be evacuated to a community health centre because of damage to the hospital.’

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