At least 126 people were injured. Picture: Indonesia's Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB)/AFP
At least 126 people were injured. Picture: Indonesia's Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB)/AFP

15,000 homeless after Indonesia quake

ABOUT 15,000 people are homeless and 19 dead after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia.

Jakarta Indonesian authorities on Friday revised down the death toll from that struck the Molucca islands to 19.

The National Disaster Management Agency had earlier in the day said 23 people were killed in Thursday's quake.

"The error occurred because some victims were counted twice," agency spokesman Agus Widodo said.

At least 126 people were injured and nearly 200 homes and other buildings were damaged on Ambon and Seram islands after the quake on Thursday, said Agus said.

 

A woman inspects the damage following the quake in Ambon. Picture: AP
A woman inspects the damage following the quake in Ambon. Picture: AP

 

Residents stand near earthquake-damaged houses in Ambon. Picture: Tiara Salampessy/AP
Residents stand near earthquake-damaged houses in Ambon. Picture: Tiara Salampessy/AP

About 15,000 people were displaced and were in urgent need of tarpaulins, tents and blankets, he said.

The quake struck at 8:46 am (9.46am AEST Thursday) with an epicentre 36.9 kilometres north-east of Ambon, at a depth of 29 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for seismic upheavals and volcanic eruptions.

 

Earthquake survivors stand near their tents at a temporary shelter in Ambon. Picture: Tiara Salampessy/AP
Earthquake survivors stand near their tents at a temporary shelter in Ambon. Picture: Tiara Salampessy/AP

 

Residents inspect an earthquake-damaged building in Ambon. Picture: Tiara Salampessy/AP
Residents inspect an earthquake-damaged building in Ambon. Picture: Tiara Salampessy/AP


The quake took place just a few days before Indonesia marked the one-year anniversary of a quake-tsunami that killed more than 4000 people in the city of Paul.

There are expected to be mass prayers on Saturday to remember the victims of the 7.5 magnitude quake and subsequent deluge that flattened large areas of the coastal city on Sulawesi island last September.

Nearly 60,000 people are still living in makeshift accommodation after their homes were destroyed, according to the Red Cross.

The force of the impact saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction -- a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.

It also destroyed fishing boats, shops and irrigation systems, robbing locals of their income.

Hundreds of damaged schools "are so badly affected they remain too dangerous to use, forcing children to learn in temporary classrooms where they have to attend in shifts due to a lack of space", Save the Children said Saturday.

Earlier the World Bank offered the country up to $1 billion in loans to get the city back on its feet.

 

- With AFP



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