Earthquake alert: Is the ‘Ring of Fire’ waking up again after Sulawesi’s narrow escape?

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Sulawesi Island in Indonesia had a close shave on Saturday when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook the Minahassa Peninsula. According to the German Research Centre for Geosciences, the quake had a depth of 10 km below the Earth’s surface. Incredibly, preliminary reports indicate no casualties or damages, leaving locals and officials breathing a sigh of relief.

A Tsunami-Free Earthquake, Says Indonesia’s Geophysics Agency

As per updates from Reuters, Indonesia’s geophysics agency assured there was no impending tsunami threat. This update further lessened the stress, considering the region’s perilous history. In 2018, a devastating 7.5-magnitude earthquake led to a catastrophic tsunami in the same area. Thankfully, this recent quake didn’t repeat that terrible history.

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Inside the Pacific Ring of Fire: A Hotbed of Seismic Activity

The Minahassa Peninsula lies within the notorious ‘Pacific Ring of Fire,’ a 40,000-kilometer-long horseshoe-shaped zone in the Pacific Ocean known for frequent tectonic activity. Here, several Earth’s plates, such as the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, engage in intense interactions like subduction and collision, resulting in regular seismic activities including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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According to experts, the constant movement and collision of these lithospheric plates are what make this region a seismic hotspot. Residents and officials in the area are therefore continually on alert for earthquakes and other geological phenomena, often preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, like what occurred this Saturday on Sulawesi Island.

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