Jakarta (ANTARA) - A 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the North Tapanuli region in North Sumatra at 2:28 a.m. Western Indonesia Time (UTC +7), the National Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) stated.

The agency also confirmed that until 6:59 a.m., some 53 aftershocks were recorded following the first earthquake.

"Until 6:59 a.m. Western Indonesia Time, the BMKG monitoring detected 53 aftershocks," BMKG Chairperson Dwikorita Karnawati noted in her press statement as broadcast by the BMKG YouTube channel on Saturday.

Following the 6.0-magnitude earthquake at 2:28 a.m., centred 15 kilometres northwest of North Tapanuli, a 5.1-magnitude aftershock, with a depth of 10 kilometres, was felt at 2:50 a.m., Karnawati stated.

Another 5.0-magnitude aftershock occurred at 3:37 a.m., also at a depth of 10 kilometres, she added.

Aftershocks thereafter recorded in North Tapanuli ranged in magnitude from 2.0 to 5.1, she stated.

The earthquake and aftershocks that hit the North Tapanuli region affected residents in Humbang Hasundutan, Toba, Central Tapanuli, North Labuhan Batu, and Medan City, all within North Sumatra Province.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency's (BNPB's) Operations Control Centre, the earthquake caused injuries to some residents and led to one casualty.

The Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) is coordinating with relevant institutions to collect data on the damage and victims due to the earthquake in North Tapanuli and the surrounding regions.

The authority urged residents in affected areas to be vigilant to potential aftershocks and ensure evacuation routes in homes are not obstructed by large objects that can impede evacuation.

Residents in coastal regions are also advised to evacuate to higher places if the earthquake occurs for over 30 seconds to avoid potential tsunamis.

Indonesia lies on the Ring of Fire along the north-eastern islands adjacent of New Guinea and the Alpide belt along the south and west from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores, and Timor. The motion of the fault generates numerous small earthquakes every day.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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