Jakarta (ANTARA) – Over the past 29 days in January 2021, Indonesia experienced 77 earthquakes, including the one that hit Berau District, East Kalimantan, on early Friday (Jan 29), according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).
The agency recorded that the Berau earthquake of magnitude 4.1 was the first quake to hit Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo Island, this year.
The epicenter of this 77th earthquake that struck at around 00:42 a.m. local time on Friday was located some 62 kilometers (km) away from the east of Tanjung Rebeb City in Berau District, at a depth of 10 km, the agency’s coordinator for earthquake and tsunami affairs, Daryono, stated.
January 2021 was recorded as an “abnormal month” for earthquakes in the archipelago wherein the frequency of occurrence of tectonic earthquakes, whose tremors could be felt by residents, was above “normality”, he remarked.
Speaking in connection with its epicenter and hypocenter, Daryono noted that this early Friday’s earthquake was categorized as a shallow one as a result of active plate at the Mangkalihat Fault Zone.
Owing to its minor magnitude and epicenter, located off the coastal area of Berau, the quake did not trigger a tsunami. Locals living in the district’s coastal area are urged to stay calm, he stated.
Earthquakes regularly rock various parts of Indonesia since the country lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities.
On January 15, 2021, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake, ensued by several aftershocks, rattled the districts of Mamuju and Majene in West Sulawesi Province, claiming more than 100 lives, and destroyed many buildings.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) declared that the government had extended the emergency response period for disaster mitigation efforts in West Sulawesi for two weeks from January 28, 2021.
Deadly earthquakes have repeatedly hit Sulawesi Island. On September 28, 2018, for instance, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit several parts of Central Sulawesi Province.
The strong earthquake that was followed by a tsunami and soil liquefaction in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi Province, claimed 2,102 lives, injured 4,612, and rendered 680 others missing.
A total of 68,451 homes incurred serious damage, while 78,994 people were displaced.
The authorities and humanitarian workers decided to bury the large number of rotting corpses in mass graves.
Meanwhile, material losses inflicted by the twin deadly disasters were estimated to reach Rp15.29 trillion.
The provincial capital of Palu bore the brunt of the disaster, with material damage and losses recorded at Rp7.6 trillion, or 50 percent of the total estimate, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
The material damage and losses in Sigi District were recorded at Rp4.9 trillion, or 32.1 percent; Donggala District, at Rp2.1 trillion, or 13.8 percent; and Parigi Moutong District, at Rp631 billion, or 4.1 percent.
Material damage in the four affected areas reached an estimated Rp13.27 trillion, while the material losses were reportedly around Rp2.02 trillion, the agency stated in October 2018.
Source: Antara News