Jakarta (ANTARA) - A 6.5-magnitude earthquake, striking the Maluku provincial capital of Ambon on Thursday, caused destruction to 171 houses in its path, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

"A total of 59 houses incurred serious damage, 45 houses suffered moderate damage, and 67 houses had incurred light damage," Agus Wibowo, acting chief of the BNPB Data and Information Center and Public Relations, noted in a press statement released on Friday.

Places of worship and educational facilities, including five buildings in Pattimura University campus and buildings in the Ambon State Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) campus, were also destroyed when the quake had rattled the area.

Moreover, the Red and White Bridge developed cracks following the quake.

Several local government offices, including a job training center, food resilience board, and social service offices, were also damaged.

A powerful quake of magnitude 6.5, earlier reported at 6.8, rattled the provincial capital of Ambon on Thursday.

The quake was epicentered 40 kilometers (km) northeast of Ambon, at a depth of 10 km beneath the seabed.

The death toll in the quake has reached at least 23, while over 100 others were injured.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) confirmed that some 15 thousand people had fled their homes since the powerful quake hit the city on Thursday.

"The BNPB calls on the local residents to remain vigilant to aftershocks and not be easily incited by fake information that may lead to panic and fear," Wibowo added.

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Translator: Dewanto Samodro/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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