A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia Monday at 2.30 a.m. local time.
The quake, which was initially rated at magnitude 6.1, hit 53 miles northwest of Ternate at a depth of 22.7 miles, which is in the Maluku Islands. Two east Indonesian provinces, Maluku and North Maluku, are part of the islands.
According to a Reuters report, Indonesia is located in the Ring of Fire region, which is a horseshoe-shaped area in the Pacific Ocean basin that experiences a large number of earthquakes each year. In fact, as many as 90 percent of the world’s earthquake happen in this area.
So far, the moderate quake did not spur a tsunami alert. Additionally, no reports indicate any damage, injuries, or casualties in the region resulting from the tremblor. On land, a 5.9 magnitude quake could cause significant damage despite the fact that it is considered a moderate earthquake.
A little over three hours later, a smaller quake of 4.7 magnitude struck in the Banda Sea about 227 miles from Kota Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia.
On March 25, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Banda Sea followed by a 5.9-magnitude quake less than 12 hours later. Residents of Darwin felt the March 25 earthquake, according to an ABC report.
In January of this year, Java, Indonesia suffered two casualties as a result of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake, and in December 2017, four people perished during a 6.5 magnitude tremblor in Java. In the incidents, 41 and 36 people experienced injuries respectively.
In 2004, the region experienced a devastating earthquake and tsunami on December 26. A magnitude 9.1-9.3 quake hit in the Indian Ocean, and the resulting tidal wave left an estimated 230,000 to 280,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands injured and homeless. Indonesia was the hardest hit country in one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. Since this and the horrifying tsunami in Japan in 2011, tsunami warnings around the world have improved in the wake of serious seismic activity.
Indonesia’s total population of 291 million makes it the world’s fourth most populous country. The large population is spread across the country’s 13 islands, which regularly experience seismic activity.
This is a developing story, which will be updated as more information becomes available.