Considering the pattern, the shocks may develop into earthquake swarms.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - More than 61 earthquakes of varying magnitudes and depths struck North Halmahera District on January 8-10, 2022, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

"Considering the pattern, the shocks may develop into earthquake swarms," Coordinator of Earthquake and Tsunami Mitigation at the agency, Daryono, stated here on Monday.

Earthquake swarms are series of quakes occurring with relatively small magnitude, though of very high frequency and lasting for quite long periods of time in a limited area.

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In the last three days, four significant shocks struck the district, comprising a 5.1 magnitude (M) quake on Saturday, a 4.5 M quake on Sunday, as well as 5.2 M and 5.5 M quakes on Monday at 4:27 a.m. Western Indonesia Standard Time (WIB) and 4:59 a.m. WIB respectively.

Epicenter of the 5.4 M shock was located at 1.52 degrees North Latitude and 127.86 degrees East Longitude at a depth of 10 kilometers (km).

Taking into account the location of the epicenter and the depth of the hypocenter, it was a shallow earthquake caused by an active strike-slip fault.

The tremors of Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) IV scale were felt strongly in the sub-districts of Kao, West Tobelo, and Tobelo.

People in the sub-districts of Sofifi and Galela also sensed the shocks at MMI III-IV, while the quake was felt at MMI III in Ternate District, Halmahera District, and Wasile Sub-district.

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The MMI III tremors are usually felt by people indoors quite akin to that of a passing truck. Meanwhile, MMI IV tremors can cause windows, doors, and wall to make cracking sounds.

North Halmahera District Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) reported that 57 houses and four public facilities were damaged.

"The public should remain calm and not be influenced by hoaxes regarding the earthquake. In addition, please do not occupy damaged buildings since they may collapse due to aftershocks," Daryono affirmed.

North Halmahera District is an earthquake-prone area. The strongest quake measuring 6.6 M struck the district on October 14, 1944, at a depth of 15 km. The shocks of MMI VII were felt.

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Translator: Desi Purnamawati, Uyu Liman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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