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Asia-pacific

Major quake injures 17, damages buildings

Latest update : 2009-02-12

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi near the Philippines on Thursday, injuring 17 people and damaging dozens of homes as well as public buildings, officials said.

AFP - A major earthquake struck off the tip of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi near the Philippines early Thursday, injuring 17 people and damaging dozens of homes, officials said.
   
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," Pakaya told AFP.
   
"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."
   
Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency issued a tsunami warning immediately after the quake struck at 1:34 am (1734 GMT Wednesday), but cancelled it about one hour later.
   
The epicentre of the shallow quake was about 320 kilometres (200 miles) northeast of the Indonesian town of Manado and 280 kilometres southeast of General Santos in the Philippines, the US Geological Survey said.
   
There were no reports of any damage or casualties in the Philippines.
   
The USGS initially put the magnitude of the quake at 7.5, but later revised it down to 7.0 and then to 7.2. Indonesia measured the quake 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 Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre sent a bulletin saying there was "no destructive widespread tsunami threat" based on available data.
   
The Indonesian archipelago straddles several continental plates in an area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire where seismic and volcanic activity is recorded on an almost daily basis.
   
Indonesia was the nation worst hit by the earthquake-triggered tsunami in December 2004 that killed more than 200,000 people in 11 countries across Asia, including over 168,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh province and Nias island.
   
The Philippines, made up of more than 7,000 islands, also experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
 

Date created : 2009-02-12

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