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Jakarta Post

Bridge collapses in E. Sumba as quakes continue to jolt region

  • Djemi Amnifu

    The Jakarta Post

Kupang   /   Tue, October 2, 2018   /   05:43 pm
Bridge collapses in E. Sumba as quakes continue to jolt region Sumba is home to vast savannahs as well as beautiful beaches and rolling hills. (JP/Liza Yosephine)

A bridge has collapsed in the district of Wula Waijelu in East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, after a series of earthquakes of varying magnitudes jolted the region on Tuesday morning.

“Today, four earthquakes hit East Sumba. The fourth quake, which according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency [BMKG] had a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale, has toppled a bridge in Wula Waijelu district,” East Sumba Mayor Gideon Mbiliyora told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He added that the quakes had sent residents into a state of panic. No casualties have been reported so far.

Read also: East Nusa Tenggara hit by series of quakes

The series of earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 5.2 to 6.3 occurred since Monday night, with the epicenter located off the coast of Nggongi village in East Sumba.

The jolts in the southern waters of Sumba Island came just four days after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Palu and Donggala on the island of Sulawesi, some 1,000 kilometers north of Sumba.

The BMKG posted a tweet on its Twitter account, confirming that at 7:16 a.m., a 6.3-magnitude earthquake occurred 66 km from the southwestern part of East Sumba regency, East Nusa Tenggara, at a depth of 10 km.

According to the BMKG smartphone app, a first 5.2-magnitude quake hit East Sumba at 6:12 a.m. Subsequent quakes measuring 5.3 and 6.0 in magnitude ensued minutes later at 6:27 a.m. and 6:59 a.m., respectively. The agency later issued a statement, saying that the quakes would not cause a tsunami.

Gideon said he had dispatched several of his staff members, as well as officials from the East Sumba Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD East Sumba) to assess damage in the region.

“I’ve asked the [BPBD East Sumba] and other relevant institutions to assess the damage in the field. So far, we haven’t received any reports of damaged houses or any other substantial losses,” he said.

Tremors continued to occur until Tuesday afternoon, with the latest recorded at 2:01 p.m. with a magnitude of 5.8, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) real-time map of latest earthquakes.

In August, following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Lombok, a smaller earthquake of 5.6-magnitude also hit the area. (rfa)