Indonesia Warns of Tsunami After Quake Near Key Nickel Sites

Indonesia warns of aftershocks and possible tsunami after a 6.1-magnitude quake hit the Maluku islands, a key nickel production area.

Those living along the coastlines of Japutih and Apiahu on Seram island, Maluku, should stay vigilant, the meteorological, climatological and geophysical agency said in a statement on Wednesday. Residents are told to move away from the shoreline toward higher ground.

Resource-rich Indonesia, home to a quarter of the world’s nickel reserves, sit along the Pacific Ocean’s “ring of fire” zone of active volcanoes and tectonic faults, making it prone to earthquakes. The 6.1-magnitude quake was detected at a depth of 10 kilometers off the coast of Seram island, and has been followed by at least 13 aftershocks.

Seram is one of the biggest islands in the province. Maluku and neighboring North Maluku are home to key nickel mines and smelters as well as a planned multibillion-dollar copper smelter project by PT Freeport Indonesia and China’s Tsingshan Holding Group.

Video clips shared by the search and rescue agency show residents rushing along an asphalt road to reach safety. The sea level along one coastline was seen rising by half a meter, which was likely due to an undersea landslide, the national disaster mitigation agency said in a statement.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.