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Six killed in Indonesia's strong earthquake
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11:19, November 18, 2008

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Six people were killed and 77 were wounded after a strong quake rattled Sulawesi Island in eastern parts of the country on Monday, health ministry said here Tuesday.

At least 800 houses, school buildings, and one bridge were damaged by the quake in Gorontalo province, head of the crisis center of the ministry Rustam Pakaya said.

"Thirteen out of the 77 wounded persons suffer from serious injury and now are hospitalized," Pakaya told Xinhua.

A shallow quake struck after midnight with epicenter at 138 km northwest of Gorontalo city and at a depth of 10 km, meteorology agency said. The agency issued warning of tsunami but then lifted it.

The quake was followed by two moderate aftershocks of 6.0 and 5.7 magnitudes, the agency said.

Indonesia has just launched a faster high-tech tsunami warning system with a cost of over 130 million U.S. dollars to prevent the repetition of the tragedy in December 2004, when over 170,000 people killed in Aceh, Indonesia by the tsunami.

The catastrophe also killed those on coastal areas of Asia, from Sri Lanka and India to Thailand and the Maldives, bringing the total death toll to about 230,000.

Indonesia sits at a vulnerable zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire" where two continental plates, stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia, meet, causing frequent volcanic movements.


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