"Sabang was hit by a series of 15 earthquakes on Monday morning, though the local residents do not feel the tremors," Head of the Jakarta-based BMKG Daryono stated on Monday.
The first earthquake that hit at around 6:46 a.m. local time measured 5.2 on the Richter scale, but it did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami. Another quake struck the city some two hours thereafter.
The second quake to rock the city at about 8:23 a.m. local time measured 5.4 R.
The epicenter of the 5.2-magnitude earthquake was located in the sea, some 194 kilometers away from north west of Sabang City, at a depth of 10 kilometers (km), while the epicenter of the earthquake, measuring 5.4 R, was found to be some 224 km northwest of Sabang, at a depth of 10 km, he remarked.
Daryono stated that the magnitudes of the aftershocks that hit Sabang, one of Aceh's popular tourist destinations, were less powerful as compared to those of the first and second earthquakes and did not trigger a tsunami.
Indonesia is located on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also called the Ring of Fire, the meeting points of several tectonic plates and resulting in recurrent volcanic and seismic activities.
Consequently, the archipelago's several parts are earthquake-prone, as is apparent from the catastrophic earthquakes in Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara Province, and Palu, Central Sulawesi Province's capital city, in 2018.
According to data recorded by the BMKG during 2018, a total of 11,577 earthquakes had struck Indonesia, many of which resulted in grave casualties and were witnessed for the first time, including the liquefaction in Palu, the tsunami that struck prior to a warning being issued in Palu, and the Sunda Strait Tsunami.
The BMKG data indicated that 11,577 earthquakes, with differing magnitudes and depths, occurred in 2018, whereas only 7,172 earthquakes were recorded in 2017, thereby suggesting that Indonesia had witnessed a major spike in the number of tectonic earthquakes last year.
The agency recorded that largely, earthquakes, of below five magnitude, dominated the occurrences, while there were 297 instances of earthquakes, with magnitudes of over five. EDITED BY INE