6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Sulawesi, Indonesia: 4 injured

Saturday, August 18, 2012
By Paul Martin

August 18, 2012

INDONESIA – A 6.3-magnitude earthquake has hit Indonesia’s central Sulawesi province, the US Geological Survey said, sending terrified residents fleeing into the streets. An earthquake registering magnitude 6.3 rocked a northern Indonesian island on Saturday as residents were ending their fast on the final day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, officials said. There were reports of at least two injuries but no tsunami warning was issued. The U.S. Geological Survey said the late-afternoon quake struck 56 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Palu city on Sulawesi Island at a depth of 19.9 kilometers (12.4 miles). Sudirman, an officer at the Disaster Management Agency who uses one name, said there were reports from the province that at least four people were injured by falling debris and of damage to houses in Parigi Mountong, the district closest to the epicenter. He said the full extent of the injuries and damage was not yet known. The earthquake struck as people in the province were ending their fast on the last day of Ramadan, causing many to rush out into the streets in panic, local news reports said. The quake struck on land 56km southeast of the city of Palu at around 0940 GMT at a depth of 20km. Panicked residents in Palu ran from their homes as the ground shook violently for a few seconds, an AFP reporter said. The Indonesian agency earlier reported the quake’s magnitude at 6.2 at a depth of 10km, with its epicentre in the populated mountainous district of Parigi Moutong. Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it is in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. –Mercury News – Star

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