Following the impactful 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Banda Sea, Maluku, on Wednesday, 8th November 2023, the region grapples with its aftermath.
The seismic event persists, with the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency at Ambon Geophysics Station documenting a cumulative total of 192 aftershocks as of Monday, 13th November 2023.
Djati Cipto Kunco, the Head of Ambon Geophysics, stated, “To date, there have been 192 aftershocks in the Banda Sea.” Among these aftershocks, the most significant recorded was a magnitude of 6.8, occurring on Thursday, 9th November 2023, while the smallest measured at a magnitude of 3.2.
Despite the numerous aftershocks, vibrations were perceptible on seven occasions. Kunco warned that the risk of further aftershocks remains, as not all the energy was released during the initial 7.2 magnitude earthquake. “Not all the energy has been released; it is usually released slowly,” he stated.
The data from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency revealed that, of the hundreds of aftershocks, four registered above 6.0 magnitudes and eight above 5.0 magnitudes. Fortunately, the series of aftershocks did not result in any notable damage.
The initial earthquake, a magnitude 7.2 event, struck the Tanimbar Islands and surrounding areas on Wednesday, 8th November 2023 at 1:53 PM/Maluku Local Time. Originating from the Banda Sea, the shallow quake had an epicentre at a depth of 10 kilometres below sea level. Although no reports of significant damage were received, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency did note that the earthquake triggered a minor tsunami in the waters of Damar and the Banda Sea.