6.6 Earthquake Strikes Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island

Update: The USGS initially measured the quake at magnitude 6.6 but has since adjusted it to 6.3.

A powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake on Saturday shook Indonesia’s central Sulawesi province injuring a child and damaging at least 40 houses.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the late-afternoon quake struck 35 miles southeast of Palu city on Sulawesi Island at a depth of 12.4 miles.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told Reuters, “The quake was felt strongly for 15 seconds in Palu as people were breaking the [Ramadan] fast.”

“Initial information we received is the access to Kulawi (central Sulawesi) is cut and cars could not get through because there was a landslide. About 40 houses were damaged and a child was injured because the house’s wall fell on him,” Nugroho added.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later reported the Sulawesi temblor had no tsunami potential, and that the agency may issue additional information on the quake.

Due to its position in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines and volcanoes, Indonesia is prone to earthquakes.

On December 26, 2004, a giant earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of which were in the westernmost province of Aceh.