Thursday Feb 02, 2023

Large 6.4 East Timor earthquake spreads panic in Dili

People in the East Timor capital of Dili have run from homes and commercial district buildings as a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the island nation.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre says the quake was at a depth of 10 km and struck about 29 km east-southeast of Lospalos at the island’s eastern tip.

Tremors were also felt in Darwin around noon, more than 700 km away.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, but witnesses said the quake was felt strongly. A video shared on social media showed people fleeing a shopping mall in Dili by the stairs.

“It’s quite big,” Francez Suni, director of information of East Timor’s GMN TV told Reuters in text message.

“Our staff ran out of the building because it was shaking.”

The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the quake did not trigger a tsunami threat warning.

East Timor and neighbouring Indonesia straddle the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake magnitude was 6.1 and 50 km deep.


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