On Dec. 9, 2015, at 14:57 UTC, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook the floor of the Banda Sea near Indonesia. Cities closest to the tremblor were Amahai, Ambon, Soroang, and Tual Indonesia. Dili in East Timor was the farthest away at 662 km and Amahai was the closest at 103 km.
Due to the distance of the quake from land, the shaking would have likely been light, as reported by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). There were no reports from people feeling it at the time. Preparatory action for aftershocks is recommended.
There have been many high magnitude earthquakes in this area over the past 30 days and according to the (USGS), which have caused landslides. The landslides may have contributed to economic losses, even injuries, and fatalities.
The USGS reports that the general structure of the buildings in this area is vulnerable to the shaking. There are very few buildings that are resistant to the upheaval of an earthquake.
According to the USGS, the cities which are most exposed to the secondary effects of a 5.6M tremblor are as follows: Amahai, Saparua, Kairatu, Pelau, Taniwel, Tulehu, Ambon, Passo, Hila, Amahusu, and Piru. This list only those cities with a population of 1,000 or more. Smaller villages could be even more at risk.
At this time, there are no tsunami warnings, as reported by the National Weather Service. If there are changes, The Public Slate will provide updates to this notice.
By Jeanette Smith
USGS: M5.6 near Indonesia
Image Courtesy of Ben Ashmole’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License