18 February 2019, Monday | 01:13pm

Indonesia hit by over 11,500 quakes last year

2019-01-15

Hope is never far: A soldier standing near a toppled mosque during recovery efforts after an earthquake hit Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi. — AP

Jakarta: Indonesia was rattled by more than 11,500 earthquakes last year, almost double the annual average of the past decade, according to the nation’s meteorological agency.

The archipelago was hit by 11,557 temblors in 2018, with 297 of them packing a magnitude of more than 5 on the Richter scale, according to data from the Meteorology, Clima­tology and Geophysics Agency.

That was more than the average 6,000 quakes recorded in recent years, Antara news agency reported, citing the meteorological agency’s head, Dwikorita Karnawati.

Indonesia’s 17,000 islands are prone to earthquakes because the country straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire – an arc of fault lines and volcanoes that causes frequent seismic upheavals.

The South-East Asian nation also recorded for the first time liquefaction, a phenomenon that causes soil to lose its strength after violent shaking. It was seen in Sulawesi last year, and after a tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra in December. — Bloomberg

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