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Powerful Earthquake Strikes Eastern Indonesia and Northern Australia, Damages Buildings and Causes Panic - UPSC Current Affairs

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the Tanimbar islands in eastern Indonesia early Tuesday, causing substantial shaking that was felt in northern Australia. The earthquake damaged village buildings, including two school buildings and 15 houses, with one home heavily damaged and three moderately damaged. Only one injury was reported. A tsunami warning was issued but was lifted three hours later. The earthquake was caused by the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an area known for its high seismic activity.

Jan 10, 2023

2 min read

On Tuesday morning, a powerful deep-sea earthquake hit the Tanimbar islands in eastern Indonesia, causing damage to village buildings and widespread shaking in northern Australia. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency reported that two school buildings and 15 houses were damaged, with one home heavily damaged and three moderately damaged. However, there were only one reported injury from the disaster.




The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.6, was located in the Banda Sea near the Tanimbar islands in the Maluku province. The tremors were also felt in several regions in Indonesia, including Papua and East Nusa Tenggara provinces, as well as in northern Australia.


In response to the earthquake, Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency issued a tsunami warning, which was lifted three hours later. The agency head, Dwikorita Karnawati, stated that based on four tide gauge observations around the center of the earthquake, there were no significant changes in sea level.


The U.S. Geological Survey also reported that the earthquake's epicentre was at a depth of 105 kilometers (65 miles), which is not far from Australia's northern tip. Deeper quakes tend to cause less surface damage but are more widely felt. This is seen in the case of this earthquake as more than 1,000 people in northern Australia, including in the city of Darwin, reported to Geoscience Australia that they felt the earthquake.


Despite widespread fear, the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre stated that the earthquake did not pose a tsunami threat to the mainland or any islands or territories.


It is important to note that Indonesia is located on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," which is an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. This means that Indonesia is frequently shaken by earthquakes, and it is crucial for residents and tourists to be prepared for potential seismic activity.

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