Home SCIENCE Powerful earthquake shakes Sumatra in Indonesia and leaves 1 dead

Powerful earthquake shakes Sumatra in Indonesia and leaves 1 dead

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong, shallow earthquake rattled the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Saturday, killing one resident, injuring 11 and damaging more than a dozen homes and buildings, police said.

The 5.9-magnitude quake struck about 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) northeast of Sibolga, a coastal city in North Sumatra province, according to the US Geological Survey. It was 13 kilometers (8 miles) deep.

The pre-dawn quake was followed by two 5.0-magnitude aftershocks.

A 62-year-old man died of a heart attack while fleeing to safety in Tarutung village, the closest to the epicenter, local police chief Johanson Sianturi said. Eleven people have been injured and at least 15 houses and buildings damaged in the town, he said.

Authorities were still investigating the full extent of the damage.

A video released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency showed several residents evacuating an injured person in a van to a hospital as panicked voices called for help. The agency also showed several people receiving treatment and cracked walls from the earthquake.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 270 million people, is frequently hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific basin.

In February, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

A powerful earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killed almost 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

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