Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The Bitung city administration in North Sulawesi recorded that at least six houses had incurred damage by the strong earthquake that rocked the areas of Jailolo Sub-district, Halmahera Barat District, North Maluku Province, on Thursday evening.

"Those houses sustained minor damages, such as collapsed and cracked walls," Acting Head of Bitung City's Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Ruddy Wongkar told journalists in Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi Province, on Saturday.

The city administration has completed accruing data on the damaged houses. It will be followed up by concrete programs for assisting those whose homes got damaged by the recent earthquake, he noted.

He, however, could not as yet ascertain the amount of material losses incurred by the local residents due to the 7.1-magnitude earthquake whose tremors could also be felt by those residing in North Sulawesi.

"We are yet calculating the material losses," Wongkar stated, adding that a resident Laurensi Andaria, 73, suffered a shock and died following the strong tremors of the earthquake.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) noted that three people were wounded while 36 buildings were damaged in North Maluku Province after the recent 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit on Thursday evening.

According to the agency's report, the local residents suffered injuries after being hit by several bricks that collapsed from damaged walls of their houses.

The BNPB reported that the strong earthquake that hit Jailolo Sub-district in Halmahera Barat District, North Maluku Province, on Thursday at around 11:17 p.m. local time also damaged three buildings in Minahasa Utara District, North Sulawesi.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) confirmed that at least 150 aftershocks had jolted Jailolo Sub-district's areas until Friday following the first strong earthquake.

Eight of the 150 aftershocks could be felt by local people while the aftershocks were recorded at between four and five on the Richter scale, the agency revealed in a press statement.

Situated on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also called the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause recurrent volcanic and seismic activities, Indonesia is prone to experiencing natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Related news: North Maluku rattled by 150 aftershocks since Thursday evening: BMKG
Related news: Three wounded, 36 buildings damaged in North Maluku's earthquake: BNPB


Translator: Karel AP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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