6.4 M Earthquake Rocks Nias, Causes Panic in Gunungsitoli

TEMPO.CONias – An earthquake jolted southwest Nias, North Sumatra, on Tuesday morning, April 20, at 6:58:20 Western Indonesian Time (WIB), causing panic in Gunungsitoli City.

“The shaking is quite strong. Because I have a three-storey house, my family and I go to the top floor just in case the quake gets stronger,” said Yenni, a resident of Gunungsitoli.

A trader at Soliga Market also said that the quake caused traders and buyers to leave the shops.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) announced that the quake was centered in the sea about 140 km southwest of Nias at a depth of 16 km. It was measured at a magnitude of 6.4 which was then finalized to 6.1.

Illustration of an earthquake. REUTERS
Illustration of an earthquake. REUTERS

According to the agency, the shallow quake occurred due to tectonic activity on the Indian Ocean Plate. The tremor was felt in West Nias at the II-III level of the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) and Gunungsitoli at the I-II MMI level.

The tremor was also felt by people in Aek Godang, Padang Sidimpuan, and Pakpak Bharat in North Sumatra; Pariaman, Padang Pariaman, and Padang in West Sumatra; and Aceh Singkil in Aceh at the II MMI scale.

BMKG Head of Earthquake and Tsunami Center, Bambang Setiyo Prayitno, said there was no report of damage caused by the quake which did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami until now. 


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