11/26/2007, 00.00
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Strong earthquakes kill at least three people, among them a child

Two strong tremors off Sumbawa killed three people and injured 45 others overnight. The death toll is still provisional. The second quake provokes tsunami warning.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) –  The provisional death toll from two violent earthquakes which struck the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, central Sonda overnight stands at three dead among them a five year old child, and 45 injured.   A disaster official at Indonesia's Health Ministry in western Nusa Tenggara Island, one of the worst affected areas, relayed the news this morning.   

The tremors which stuck in quick succession destroyed dozens of buildings sending the population into panic.  Witnesses reported blackouts in many areas, including a medical clinic, which was immediately evacuated.

Both quakes originated from the same epicentre: circa 50 km below the sea bed with aftershocks hitting North West in the city of Raba. According to Jakarta’s meteorological agency the first quake registered 6.4 on the Richter scale and the second 5.  The last tremor triggered a tsunami warning but experts warned that in all probability the size of the way would be relevantly small.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheavals due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

In December 2004, a massive earthquake struck off Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, including 160,000 people in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.


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