Indonesia Quake Death Toll Hits 23

Indonesia Quake Death Toll Hits 23

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- The death toll from a strong inland earthquake in eastern Indonesia has climbed to 23 people, disaster officials said Friday.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said most of the victims of Thursday's magnitude 6.5 quake in Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, were killed by collapsing houses and buildings. In addition to the dead, it said more than 100 people were injured.

The agency said at least 117 houses and buildings were damaged and about 15,000 people were being housed in temporary shelters.

Television video showed hundreds of fearful people in Ambon sleeping outside in tents or in the open air overnight.

With a population of around 1.7 million, Maluku is one of Indonesia's least populous provinces.

Home to more than 260 million people, Indonesia has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific "Ring of Fire."

(KR)