Magnitude 5.2 earthquake strikes Aceh

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
By nias

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) – An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Banda Aceh at 11:35 on Tuesday morning, prompting the local people to scramble out of their homes and office buildings for fear of an ensuing tsunami.

Mate Ie Meteorology and Geophysics Agency spokesman Syahnan said the epicenter of the quake was located at 4.96 degrees northern latitude and 94.24 degrees eastern longitude at a depth of 97 kilometers under the sea bed, or 136 kilometers northwest of here.

But there was no immediate report so far of casualties or material damage.

Syahnan said Tuesday`s earthquake was the second to happen in less than two weeks after a 5.3 magnitude temblor jolted Banda Aceh on March 12, 2009.

Its epicenter was located at 4.62 degrees norther latitude and 94.63 degrees eastern longitude at a depth of 30 kilometers under the sea bed, and 128 kilometers northeast of Banda Aceh.

On February 20, 2008, the Aceh province was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake at 3:08 p.m. local time. The epicenter was 319 kilometers off the coast of Sumatra, close to the island of Simeulue.

At least three people were killed and several buildings were damaged.

The same region was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on December 26, 2004, triggering a massive tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people.

The quake lasted about one minute and was felt by the people in Banda Aceh, Meulaboh, and Gunung Sitoli on Nias island.

Minutes after the quake hit, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning that parts of the Sumatran coast were at risk of a possible tsunami but was later canceled.

The Indonesian archipelago suffers frequent earthquakes, lying in an area of intensive seismic activity where several tectonic plates collide.
(Antara News, www.antara.co.id – 24/03/2009)

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