JAKARTA – A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Tuesday, triggering a tsunami warning, but there was no immediate word on casualties or damage.
At a depth of 12 kilometers, the quake struck at 0320 GMT in the Flores Sea, about 112 kilometres (70 miles) northwest of the town of Larantuka in the eastern part of Flores island.
“Everyone ran out into the street,” Agustinus Florianus, a Flores resident, told Reuters. A similar magnitude quake struck Maumere in 1992, causing significant damage.
Tsunami warnings have been issued for Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, as well as Southeast and South Sulawesi.
The quake’s magnitude was later determined to be 7.3 by the US Geological Survey. Following the first quake, a 5.6 magnitude aftershock struck Larantuka, according to the Indonesian agency.
The Indonesian earthquake has triggered a tsunami warning.
“It felt like a wave, up and down,” Larantuka resident Zacharias Gentiana Keranz told Reuters.
According to Alfons Hada Betan, director of the East Flores Disaster Mitigation Agency in Larantuka, there were no immediate reports of damage and the quake was felt for several minutes as people fled their homes.
On social media, people reported that the earthquake was felt strongly in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in the United States, hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts within 1,000 km (621.37 miles) of the earthquake’s epicenter based on preliminary earthquake parameters.
Muhamad Sadly, a meteorology agency official told Metro TV that people should avoid beaches and that the tsunami warning would be lifted at least two hours after it was issued.
Indonesia is located on the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a region of high seismic activity that is supported by multiple tectonic plates.
On December 4, the Mount Semeru volcano on Java island erupted, killing at least 48 people and injuring hundreds more.