Jakarta (ANTARA) - A 5.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Sarmi District in the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua on Friday at around 03.43 a.m. local time but there were no reports of damages or casualties.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) revealed that the epicentre of the earthquake which did not trigger tsunami was roughly 41 kilometers southwest of Sarmi District at a depth of 23 km.

Sarmi District's areas have repeatedly been rocked by earthquakes. On June 20, 2019, for instance, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the areas causing tens of houses in Togonfo Village, Ismari Subdistrict, to get minor and serious damages.

As a result, 33 families got displaced and took refuge to their relatives' houses.

Located on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities, Indonesia is susceptible to natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2004, Banda Aceh and several other parts of Aceh Province came under the spotlight of international community after they were hit by a powerful tsunami that killed some 230,000 people.

The Aceh tsunami that occurred following a 9.0-magnitude earthquake also affected many other areas that are far away from the earthquake's epicenter, including Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.

During 2018, the BMKG recorded that Indonesia had borne the impact of 11,577 earthquakes, including several causing grave casualties, with the number significantly rising than that in 2017.

The BMKG data showed that 11,577 earthquakes, with varying magnitudes and depths, hit during 2018, while just 7,172 earthquakes were recorded in 2017.

This indicates that Indonesia bore witness to a significant increase in the number of tectonic earthquakes last year.

Several earthquake-related events that had struck Indonesia last year were first of a kind to have occurred, such as the liquefaction in Palu, Central Sulawesi, a tsunami that struck prior to the issuance of a tsunami warning in Palu, and the Sunda Strait Tsunami.
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Translator: Satyagraha, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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