Jakarta (ANTARA) - Ninety-two houses in Tanimbar Islands district, Maluku, were damaged in a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck the area on Tuesday morning, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported.

"As many as 92 houses of residents of Tanimbar Islands district, Maluku province, were damaged when the magnitude (M) 7.5 earthquake hit on Tuesday morning, January 10 (2023), at 2:47 a.m. local time. Eight of them suffered heavy damage," acting head of the BNPB’s Center for Disaster Data, Information, and Communication, Abdul Muhari, said in a written statement received here on Tuesday.

Based on data recorded as of 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday, the Maluku Province Disaster Mitigation Agency reported that 80 houses were slightly damaged and 4 units suffered moderate damage in the earthquake, he said.

Moreover, public facilities, such as the district head's office and the Mandriak field tribune in Sifnana village, South Tanimbar sub-district, also suffered damage in the quake.

The agency informed that the fences of two educational facilities, State High School 1 and Saumlaki Christian Middle School, were damaged in the disaster.

The damage was not limited to Tanimbar Islands district, the agency also received a report on the quake’s impact on Southwest Maluku district. A total of 9 residents' houses sustained heavy damage and 23 others were slightly damaged in the area following the quake. In addition, 2 educational facilities were badly damaged, he said.

"Most of the damage in Southwest Maluku district is in Watuwei and Letmasa villages, Dawelor Dawera district," he informed.

So far, there have been no reports of casualties or on the number of residents seeking refuge following the earthquake. The regional disaster mitigation agency is still collecting data at the affected locations. Meanwhile, 1 resident in Romnus hamlet, Wuarlabobar district, South Tanimbar district, was injured in the quake.

The regional agency hosted a coordination meeting on handling the emergency. It dispatched personnel to assist with data and information management. The provincial government provided logistics aid to aid the people, ranging from rice, mats, blankets, family kits, rolled-up tents, items for children, and medicines.

The epicenter of the 7.5M earthquake was located 136 km northwest of Tanimbar Islands at a depth of 130 km. A few moments later, an aftershock measuring 5.5 in magnitude was recorded at 3:10 a.m. local time. Its epicenter was located 197 km northwest of Tanimbar Islands at a depth of 128 km. Though the epicenter was in the sea, it posed no risk of a tsunami.

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Translator: Devi NSR, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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