Massive 7.5 earthquake strikes Indonesia

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) a major magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck Sulawesi, Indonesia, causing a tsunami warning to be issued. The USGS originally reported the quake as a 7.8. Local seismologists in Indonesia put the magnitude at 7.7.

Map of quake epicenter.

The NOAA had issued a tsunami warning for all areas within 1,000 k.m. of the quake's epicenter, but was later lifted.

Some witnesses report their homes shaking followed by scared residents running out of their homes to seek higher ground. Many buildings have collapsed in Gorontalo. The USGS states that damage could be "moderate to heavy". At least 200,000 people reside in the area. The city of Tolitoli in Central Sulawesi, also reported collapsed buildings. There are no reports of deaths, but at least one person was injured in a building collapse.

The quake struck 135 kilometers (85 miles) Northwest of Gorontalo, Sulawesi, Indonesia with a depth of 21 k.m. (13.0 miles) . It struck the region just after 1:00 a.m. local time (12:02 p.m. EST).

At least two aftershocks struck approximately 30 minutes and one hour later with magnitudes of 5.6 and 5.5


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