Jakarta (ANTARA) - A 5.2-magnitude earthquake that hit South Halmahera District in North Maluku on Friday caused no fatalities, albeit damaged 60 houses, a public hospital, and several government buildings.

The South Halmahera Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) reported that the damaged structures comprised the district's religious affairs office, an army building, and a government official’s residential unit.

Despite no reported fatalities, the earthquake caused injuries to three residents and compelled 169 residents from 45 households to flee their homes, the agency noted on Saturday.

Workers of the disaster mitigation agency have coordinated with their counterparts from related agencies, including the police and military, in assisting those affected by the quake.

The agency workers had also built tents for family members of the patients hospitalized at the Labuha Public Hospital.

Earthquakes rattle various parts of Indonesia on a regular basis since the country lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

On January 15, 2021, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake, ensued by several aftershocks, struck the districts of Mamuju and Majene in West Sulawesi Province, leaving 100 dead and destroying several buildings.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) announced that the government had extended the emergency response period for disaster mitigation efforts in West Sulawesi for a fortnight from January 28, 2021.

Deadly earthquakes have frequently hit Sulawesi Island. On September 28, 2018, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake rattled several parts of Central Sulawesi Province.

The strong earthquake that was followed by a tsunami and soil liquefaction in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi Province, claimed 2,102 lives, injured 4,612, and rendered 680 others missing.

A total of 68,451 homes incurred serious damage, while 78,994 people were displaced.

The authorities and humanitarian workers decided to bury the large number of rotting corpses in mass graves.

Meanwhile, material losses inflicted by the twin deadly disasters were estimated to reach Rp15.29 trillion.

The provincial capital of Palu bore the brunt of the disaster, with material damage and losses recorded at Rp7.6 trillion, or 50 percent of the total estimate, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

The material damage and losses in Sigi District were recorded at Rp4.9 trillion, or 32.1 percent; Donggala District, at Rp2.1 trillion, or 13.8 percent; and Parigi Moutong District, at Rp631 billion, or 4.1 percent.

Material damage in the four affected areas reached an estimated Rp13.27 trillion, while the material losses were reportedly around Rp2.02 trillion, the agency stated in October 2018.
Related news: Minor damages reported in 60 houses following Halmahera earthquake

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Translator: Aditya R, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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