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The Indian Ocean is under ‘tsunami warning’ following earthquakes off East Timor; Report

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) issued a tsunami warning for the Indian Ocean region after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of East Timor, a Southeast Asian island nation, on Friday. Tremors were felt as far away as Darwin, Australia, triggering some people in the capital Dili to evacuate buildings.

East Timor is hit by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake.
There were no early reports of damage or injuries, although witnesses reported feeling the tremor intensely. ‘It’s pretty large; our team fled out of the building because it was shaking,’ Francez Suni, director of information for East Timor’s GMN TV, told Reuters.

Tremors were felt as far as Darwin.
Joel Willingale, a Darwin local who works in heavy manufacturing, explained, ‘It lasted around 30 seconds. The entire room shook and fell. We normally experience the repercussions of a quake in the Banda Sea. But this was a significant one’, he stated. The Banda Sea is located north of Timor.

The tsunami monitoring office of the United Nations warned that the quake ‘may trigger a tsunami hitting the Indian Ocean region’. East Timor and neighboring Indonesia are located in the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire,’ a seismically active zone where various plates in the earth’s crust collide, resulting in a huge number of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Destruction caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
In February, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s North Sumatra island, killing a dozen people. A 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck the shore of Sumatra in 2004, triggering a tsunami that killed 220,000 people throughout the area, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.

East Timor has 42% of its population living in poverty; World Bank.
East Timor, Southeast Asia’s youngest country, with a population of roughly 1.3 million people, just celebrated its 20th anniversary of independence from Indonesia. The Covid-19 epidemic has wreaked havoc on the primarily rural economy, with the World Bank estimating that 42% of the population lives below the poverty level.


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