JAKARTA, Nov 12: A succession of powerful earthquakes rocked eastern Indonesia on Friday, killing at least 17 people, injuring more than 100 others and destroying hundreds of homes, police said.

The quake, which was felt in the nearby country of East Timor, struck Alor Island, 1,000 kilometres east of the resort isle of Bali, and left hospitals struggling to cope with the wounded.

Local meteorologists put the magnitude of the quake, which struck at 4:26 am Jakarta time (2126 GMT Thursday) at 6 on the Richter scale, while the Observatory of Earth Sciences in Strasbourg recorded the tremor at 7.3.

The quake which was followed by three powerful aftershocks, Alor deputy police chief Hasan Kiko told AFP. The tremors damaged 1,100 buildings across the island, he said, adding that at least 22 homes were flattened.

He said at least 160 people were hospitalised with injuries and many people had left their homes to huddle in open fields. The earthquake was also felt in the East Timor capital Dili, roughly 50 kilometres to the southeast of Alor, prompting many there to flee their homes.

There were no casualties and no major damage to the half-island nation, but residents said a floating hotel in Dili's natural harbour was briefly grounded as the quake caused waters to recede.

East Timor's national security chief David Ximenes said meteorologists had warned of a major seismic event in the next two days and warned citizens to stay away from shorelines and major rivers where tidal waves were a risk.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, lies at the collision point of three tectonic plates. Pressure between the massive segments of the Earth's crust cause frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. -AFP

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...