Indonesia 'shaken 8 893 times'

2006-01-13 19:11
Jakarta - Indonesia's Aceh province was rattled by more than 8 000 earthquakes last year after the 2004 Boxing Day earthquake triggered a tsunami that devastated the coast, a local report said on Friday.

"Aceh was shaken 8 893 times in 2005," Nya' Muyasser, an Aceh Meteorology and Geophysics Agency officer, said, adding that the scale was between 4.5 and 6.8 on the Richter scale.

"April was the most frequent, with some 1 142 quakes."

Muyasser stressed that Aceh was still located in a particularly "fragile" position near the faultline off the coast of Sumatra island.

On December 26 2004 a massive 9.0-magnitude tremor triggered gigantic tidal waves that swept through Aceh province, devastating tens of thousands of homes in the region's coastal areas, and leaving more than 167 000 people dead or missing.

Three months later another 8.7-magnitude quake struck Nias and nearby islands off the western coast of North Sumatra killing several hundred people.

Indonesia is located in the Pacific volcanic belt known as the "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes and volcanoes are frequently occur.

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