Jakarta () – An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 rocked the southeastern part of Banda Aceh, Aceh Province’s capital, Thursday, around 5:31 a.m. local time, causing damage in Keunekai area, Sabang City, one of Sumatra Island’s popular tourist destinations.
“The latest information indicated that this quake has caused damage in Keunekai of Sabang City, Weh Island,” Head of the Earthquake and Tsunami Mitigation Division at Jakarta-based Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Daryono stated.
The quake’s epicenter was located on ground, some five kilometers away from the southeastern part of Banda Aceh at a depth of 10 kilometers, he noted, adding that the quake caused damage in the Keunekai area of Sabang City, Weh Island.
As of 6:40 a.m. local time, two foreshocks, one main shock, and five aftershocks were felt in the areas, Daryono revealed.
Aceh Province is one of the areas in Indonesia susceptible to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and flooding.
In 2004, Banda Aceh and several other parts of Aceh Province were rattled by a deadly tsunami following a powerful earthquake.
Located on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also called the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities, Indonesia is prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
In 2018, for instance, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) recorded that Indonesia had borne the impact of 11,577 earthquakes, including several causing grave casualties, with the number significantly rising than that in 2017.
The BMKG data showed that 11,577 earthquakes, with varying magnitudes and depths, hit in 2018, while just 7,172 earthquakes were recorded in 2017.
This indicates that Indonesia bore witness to a significant increase in the number of tectonic earthquakes in 2018.
Several earthquake-related events that hit Indonesia in 2018 were the first of a kind to have occurred, such as the liquefaction in Palu, a tsunami that struck prior to the issuance of a tsunami warning in Palu, and the Sunda Strait Tsunami.
EDITED BY INE