At least 20 people have died after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit the Maluku archipelago in eastern Indonesia today, the disaster management agency said.
"The total number of people killed in the quake is 20," Agus Wibowo, the agency's spokeswoman, said in a statement, adding that "at least 100 people were injured and 2,000 were removed."
The earthquake damaged several buildings, including a university, and caused landslides, the local Disaster Management Agency said.
In a previous assessment, local authorities indicated that three people had died and another was missing.
The magnitude 6.5 earthquake, according to the United States Geophysical Institute (USGS), occurred at 8:46 am (12:46 am in Lisbon) and its epicenter was detected 37 kilometers northeast of Ambon, in the province of Molucca. .
It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, causing panic among residents who fled to higher ground.
"The impact was felt in and around Ambon," said Rahmat Triyono, an official with the Meteorological, Climate and Geophysical Agency (BMKG).
"It looked like a truck passing by the house, the lamps began to swing," said the same official.
The images taken in Ambon, a city of about 400,000 inhabitants, show parts of fallen walls, rubble and cracks in buildings.
Local head of the Indonesian disaster management agency, Oral Without Wilar, urged people to calm down.
"People panicked and started leaving some localities, but we said there is no reason to panic because there is no tsunami alert," Wilar told AFP news agency.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands and islets formed by the convergence of three major tectonic plates (Indo-Pacific, Australian and Eurasian), is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic activity.
The archipelago has over 100 active volcanoes
Last year, at the end of September, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake followed by a tsunami on the island of Celebes devastated the Palu region and left more than 4,300 people dead and missing.
In 2004, a tsunami killed 220,000 people in the Indian Ocean region, including 170,000 in Indonesia shortly after Christmas, and was triggered by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off Sumatra.
. (tagsToTranslate) institute