Ternate, North Maluku (ANTARA) - A 5.5-magnitude earthquake rattled North Halmahera, North Maluku, on Monday at 6:59 a.m. local time, at 1.49 degrees Northern latitude and 127.85 degrees Eastern longitude, or five kilometers Southwest of Tobelo.

"The earthquake, with a depth of 10 km, did not potentially cause a tsunami," Head of the Class III Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Andri Wijaya stated in Ternate on Monday.

According to Wijaya, the 5.5-magnitude quake in North Halmahera was the result of horizontal active fault movement that generally occurs on land.

This earthquake was felt by residents in the city of Tobelo, the sub-district of Galela, and areas around the North Halmahera District, with an intensity of MMI IV, while the cities of Sofifi and Ternate experienced the quake at MMI III, he pointed out.

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Wijaya also advised people in North Halmahera District to remain calm and not panic during an earthquake and to evacuate independently at the earliest in case other quakes occur.

Meanwhile, the North Halmahera Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) reported that the earthquake damaged 57 houses and four units of public facilities, North Halmahera BPBD's Head of Emergency and Logistics, Heni Toga, confirmed.

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Toga expounded that 34 houses were minorly ruined, 18 homes were moderately destroyed, and five houses were severely damaged. The four public facilities that incurred damage comprised three places of worship and one government office, the Kusuri Village Office.

Material losses could not be estimated, as the BPBD team was still collecting data.

Furthermore, the BPBD team has coordinated with the village officials to handle the earthquake victims injured by transporting them to the local hospitals. According to BPBD's data, at least one person ailed from a broken bone, while one suffered a minor injury. The BPBD has also set up a shelter for people looking to evacuate or in search of safer places.

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Translator: Abdul F, Kenzu T
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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