JAKARTA – Indonesia’s Moluccas islands were hit by scores of aftershocks on Monday (July 15) after an earthquake killed at least two people, prompting hundreds of people to flee their homes.
Rescue teams were struggling to reach parts of the area hit by the quake in eastern Indonesia on Sunday due to its remote location, warning that the death toll could rise.
Indonesia’s meteorology agency recorded Sunday’s quake at a magnitude of 7.2 at a shallow depth of 10km on the southern part of Halmahera in the North Moluccas. The quake was also felt in Sulawesi and in Papua.
Around 2,000 people had been displaced, while at least 58 houses had been damaged, said Mr Agus Wibowo, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
Around 28,000 people live in the zone closest to the epicentre.
Two bridges had also been damaged by the quake, he said.
“We don’t wish for more victims, but we cannot rule out that possibility since access to the area is difficult and we cannot yet collect all the data regarding casualties,” Mr Wibowo told reporters in Jakarta.