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Powerful 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Indonesia’s Talaud Islands

North Sulawesi - A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Melonguane Sub-district in the Talaud Islands District of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, early Monday morning. While there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, the quake's epicenter was located approximately 960 km away from the sub-district at a depth of 132 km.

According to Philippines News Agency, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the earthquake occurred at 02:48 a.m. local time and was situated at 12.61 degrees north latitude and 127.40 degrees east longitude. The BMKG has advised residents in the affected areas to remain vigilant for potential aftershocks. Indonesia frequently experiences earthquakes, as it lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, commonly known as the Ring of Fire. This area is prone to volcanic and seismic activities due to the convergence of several tectonic plates.

The Talaud Islands have experienced several earthquakes in recent history. On January 22, 2022, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck southeast of Melonguane. One of Indonesia's most devastating natural disasters occurred on December 26, 2004, when a 9.4 magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami led to widespread destruction. The event affected not only Indonesia but also coastal regions in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, resulting in approximately 230,000 fatalities.

Sulawesi Island, in particular, has been prone to deadly earthquakes. On September 28, 2018, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake impacted various parts of Central Sulawesi Province, causing a tsunami. This disaster led to 2,102 deaths, 4,612 injuries, 680 people missing, and significant damage to 68,451 homes, displacing 78,994 individuals.