M6.6 earthquake, series of aftershocks hit Molucca Sea, Indonesia

M6.6 earthquake, series of aftershocks hit Molucca Sea, Indonesia

A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.6 hit Molucca Sea, Indonesia at 17:27 UTC on January 6, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 60 km (37 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.6 at a depth of 40 km (25.8 miles). This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability. A series of aftershocks hit the region over the next 90 minutes.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 120 km (75 miles) NW of Tongutisungi and 150 km (94 miles) WNW of Tobelu (population 10 000), North Maluku, Indonesia.

There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles).

11 000 people are estimated to have felt moderate shaking and 892 000 light.

At least 10 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 3.1 to 4.7 were registered by 18:35 UTC.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick with concrete floor and precast concrete frame with wall construction.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, EMSC, TW/SAM

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