On Dec. 9, 2015, at 14:57 UTC, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook the floor of the Banda Sea near Indonesia. Cities closest to the tremblor were Amahai, Ambon, Soroang, and Tual, Indonesia. Dili in East Timor was the farthest away at 662 km, and Amahai was the closest at 103 km.
Due to the distance of the quake from land, the shaking would have likely been light, reports the United States Geological Survey (USGS). There were no reports that people felt it at the time. Preparatory action for aftershocks is recommended. There have been many high magnitude earthquakes in this area over the past 30 days, and, according to the USGS, have caused landslides. The landslides may have contributed to economic losses or even injuries and fatalities.
The USGS reports that the general structure of the buildings in this area is vulnerable to the shaking. There are very few buildings that are resistant to the upheaval of an earthquake.
According to the USGS, the cities which are most exposed to the secondary effects of the 5.6M tremblor are as follows: Amahai, Saparua, Kairatu, Pelau, Taniwel, Tulehu, Ambon, Passo, Hila, Amahusu, and Piru. This list includes only those cities with a population of 1,000 or more. Smaller villages could be even more at risk.
At this time, there are no tsunami warnings, reports the National Weather Service. If there are changes, Guardian Liberty Voice will provide updates to this notice.
By Jeanette Smith
USGS: M5.6 near Indonesia
Image Courtesy of Hansel and Regrettal’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License