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Earthquake in East Timor: 6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of East Timor | world News




DILI (Reuters) – An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck off the coast of East Timor on Friday and was felt as far as the Australian city of Darwin, although there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, the US Geological Survey said. The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of 51 km off the eastern tip of Timor Island, which is divided between East Timor and Indonesia. An AFP journalist in Dili, East Timor’s capital, felt the quake and said that although it lasted for seconds, “the tremor was very strong.” “I saw people rushing out of their homes and children running outside the school,” the journalist said. The quake was more violent around the eastern town of Lospalos, but local authorities were still assessing the situation and did not provide details of possible damage or losses. The quake was also felt in Darwin, Australia, across the Timor Sea from the epicenter. The work lasted for about 30 seconds,” said Darwin resident Joel Willingel, who works in heavy industry. “The whole room shook and I fell,” he said. “We only really feel the effects of the earthquake sometimes, usually in the Banda Sea. But this earthquake was big.” The Banda Sea is located north of the island of Timor. In northern Indonesia, the earthquake caused panic and prompted people to evacuate buildings in the southwest of the Moluccas archipelago, according to the National Emergency Management. The authorities did not report any damage or injuries. The United Nations tsunami monitoring agency warned that the quake “could generate tsunamis affecting the Indian Ocean region”. However, no national authority in the region has yet issued a tsunami warning. “No tsunami threat to Australia from earthquake felt in Darwin, NT,” the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in a tweet. East Timor and Indonesia lie on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches across Southeast Asia and across the Pacific Basin. In February, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake killed dozens of people when it hit North Sumatra, Indonesia. In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake hit the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 people across the region, including about 170,000 people in Indonesia. East Timor has a population of about 1.3 million and is the smallest country in Southeast Asia, and it recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its independence from Indonesia. The mostly rural economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the World Bank saying 42 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.




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