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Web Extra Friday, November 12, 2004

Powerful earthquake strikes Indonesia

On Friday morning at 5:26 a.m. local time, a magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck the eastern Indonesian island of Kepulauan Alor, according to preliminary reports from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The quake was followed by several strong aftershocks, at least one of which measured magnitude 6.4. Authorities say that so far, at least 16 people have died and hundreds more are injured or homeless.

A magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck the eastern Indonesian island of Kepulauan Alor on Friday, killing at least 16 people. Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.

Alor Deputy Police Chief Hasan Kiko told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the tremors damaged about 1,100 buildings across the island and resulted in the hospitalization of at least 160 people. Many residents are waiting out the aftershocks in tents, for fear that their homes will collapse. AFP also reports that the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta is sending money and supplies to help survivors.

This earthquake occurred near the boundary of two microplates that are sandwiched between four large tectonic plates, according to USGS. Indonesia is one of the most tectonically active regions on Earth.

Compiled by Megan Sever

USGS National Earthquake Information Center
AFP story on

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