ID :
Mon, 11/17/2008 - 11:19
Auther :


Gorontalo, Nov 17 (ANTARA) - Three powerful earthquakes measuring 7.7, 6.0, and 5.7 on the Richter scales consecutively struck eastern Indonesian provinces of North Sulawesi and Gorontalo in the early morning of Monday, causing the local residents to scramble out of their homes in panic.

Meteorology and geophysics agency (BMG) here reported that the first quake measuring 7.7 on the Richter at 1:02 a.m. local time was at a depth of 10 kilometer with its epicenter located 1.41 degrees northern latitude and 122.18 degrees eastern longitude, or 138 kilometer northwest of Gorontalo.
Some 43 minutes later, the second aftershock measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale shook the same area at 1:45 a.m. which was then followed by the third weaker one at at 2:20 a.m. local time.
The third aftershock was at a depth of 30 kilometers under the sea level, or 109 kilometers northeast of Toli Toli in Central Sulawesi.
There were no immediate reports of casualties but in Tolinggula district, Gorontalo, two persons were injured, a school building and at least three houses were destroyed.
In the villages of Deme I, Deme II, Dulukapa, Wubudu, Bulontio Timur, Bulontiou Barat, Kasia, Kikia, Buloila, and Buladu, thousands of people rushed out of their houses and fled to higher ground for fear of tsunami.
Sea level at the west coast of Gorontalo rose for several minutes after the first quake and prompted the meteorological agency to issue a tsunami warning but later lifted it.
Last Tuesday President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched tsunami early warning system (TEWS) as part of the country's consistent efforts in detecting a tsunami in advance for 57 percent of Indonesia's coasts, around 46,170 kilometers of a total 81,000 kilometers coastline are prone to tsunamis.
With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia lies
in the seismically-active "Pacific Ring of Fire" and it was hit by a
devastating tsunami on December 26, 2004, leaving at least 200,000 people dead or missing in Aceh province.