Earth­quake prone

The Star Malaysia - - Star Asean Plus -

In­done­sia was hit by over 11,500 quakes last year, ac­cord­ing to the na­tion’s me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal agency.

JAKARTA: In­done­sia was rat­tled by more than 11,500 earthquakes last year, al­most dou­ble the an­nual av­er­age of the past decade, ac­cord­ing to the na­tion’s me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal agency.

The ar­chi­pel­ago was hit by 11,557 tem­blors in 2018, with 297 of them pack­ing a mag­ni­tude of more than 5 on the Richter scale, ac­cord­ing to data from the Me­te­o­rol­ogy, Cli­ma­tol­ogy and Geo­physics Agency.

That was more than the av­er­age 6,000 quakes recorded in re­cent years, An­tara news agency re­ported, cit­ing the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal agency’s head, Dwiko­rita Kar­nawati.

In­done­sia’s 17,000 is­lands are prone to earthquakes be­cause the coun­try strad­dles the Pa­cific Ring of Fire – an arc of fault lines and vol­ca­noes that causes fre­quent seismic up­heavals.

In Septem­ber more than 4,000 peo­ple were killed in Cen­tral Su­lawesi after an earth­quake and tsunami struck the is­land. That was pre­ceded by a se­ries of deadly earthquakes ear­lier last year that rat­tled the pop­u­lar tourist desti­na­tion of Lom­bok is­land, near Bali.

The South-East Asian na­tion also recorded for the first time liq­ue­fac­tion, a phe­nom­e­non that causes soil to lose its strength after vi­o­lent shak­ing. It was seen in Su­lawesi last year, and after a tsunami trig­gered by a vol­canic erup­tion in the Sunda Strait be­tween Java and Su­ma­tra in De­cem­ber.

Hope is never far: A soldier stand­ing near a top­pled mosque dur­ing re­cov­ery ef­forts after an earth­quake hit Balaroa neigh­bour­hood in Palu, Cen­tral Su­lawesi. — AP

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