‘Island’ sighted near Tanimbar Islands after 7.5M quake

The information we obtained is not complete; whether the phenomenon is purely caused by the earthquake or not, so far we have not received accurate information.

Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) – An “island” was reportedly believed to have emerged in the waters off Tanimbar Islands District, Maluku, following a 7.5-magnitude (M) earthquake at 12:47 a.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (UTC+07 hrs) on Tuesday.

“In Teinaman Village, North Tanimbar Sub-district, the piles of materials form an island due to the earthquake with more than 7 magnitude,” Head of Teinaman Village, North Tanimbar, Bony Kelmaskossu, informed here on Tuesday.

He said the phenomenon triggered panic among the residents of Teinaman Village and led them to temporarily evacuate the village.

“We direct people to evacuate temporarily,” Kelmaskossu added. It is hoped that the government and related technical agencies will investigate the phenomenon observed in the village, he added.

The veracity of the information regarding the island’s emergence has not been confirmed as it needs more in-depth study, Coordinator for Data and Information at the Ambon Geophysical Station of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Luthfy Pary said.

The phenomenon could point to the formation of a mud volcano, but this case needs more investigation, Pary added.

“The information we obtained is not complete; whether the phenomenon is purely caused by the earthquake or not, so far we have not received accurate information,” he said.

On Tuesday, a 7.5M tectonic earthquake was recorded 136 kilometers northwest of West Southeast Maluku at a depth of 130 km undersea. Its epicenter was located at 7.37 degrees south latitude and 30.23 degrees east longitude.

Based on its epicenter and hypocenter, the earthquake was a moderate one and occurred due to subduction activity in the Banda Sea.

According to the BMKG, Maluku region has experienced 10 destructive earthquakes so far.

They comprise earthquakes measuring 8.1M recorded in 1983, 6.8M in 1987, 7M in 1992 and 1995, 6.5M and 7M in 1998, 7.1M in 2005, 7.2M in 2009, 7.7M in 2019, 5.6M in 2021, and 7.5M in 2023. 

Related news: Maluku govt disburses aid to residents impacted by M7.5 earthquake

Related news: City, district police should handle quake impacts: Maluku Police Chief

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