Magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits off Indonesian coast

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake has struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra in the world’s most active area of seismic activity. The quake was recorded in the shallow waters of the…

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits off Indonesian coast

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake has struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra in the world’s most active area of seismic activity.

The quake was recorded in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Wintan, and was originally given a magnitude of 7.5, but later revised down.

A smaller earthquake in the same area, measuring 4.7, struck on Thursday.

Images of the aftermath showed collapsed buildings and damaged market stalls.

The US Geological Survey recorded the depth of the quake at 10km (6 miles).

The latest quake comes just three weeks after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck near Krakatoa, which lies dormant, and 50 years after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit the same area, destroying the town of Padang.

The mayor of Banteay Meunim district, Irwandi Yusuf, said there were no reports of injuries in the latest quake.

“We have been in contact with the district administration in Banten province to understand what exactly happened. They say it seems the quake released gases in the soil and it did not hurt anyone,” he said.

“The sound was like a bomb went off. There were people in the streets and at Banten’s university. They didn’t need any reinforcement from the army. They were scared but OK.”

Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands with a population of 235 million. It sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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