Indonesia lifts tsunami warning after 6.9 magnitude earthquake

According to the reports of the US Geological Survey, Indonesia was hit by a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 off the northeastern coast of the island of Sulawesi, which triggered a tsunami warning for coastal communities nearby on Sunday.

However, that warning was later lifted by Indonesia’s geophysics agency. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

According to geophysics agency BMKG, the quake struck out at a depth of 24 kilometres in the Molucca Sea, 185 kilometres southeast of Manado, between Sulawesi and Maluku islands. They further added, “The tsunami early warning has ended.”

Tremors shook buildings, alarming residents of some cities and authorities urged people to move to higher ground.

“The quake was felt quite strong and with an intensity that lasted quite long,” said Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the search and rescue agency.

“There were no reports of damage or casualties in Ternate,” he added, referring to the city closest to the epicentre.

But some hospitals in Ternate, about 130km from the epicentre, suffered minor damage and had to evacuate patients, media said.

Strong tremors were felt for a few seconds in the nearby seaside resort city of Manado, residents said, but no damage was reported.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-hit nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.

It has been hit by a string of deadly quakes including a devastating 2004 tremor measuring 9.1 magnitude that struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

The Boxing Day disaster was the world’s third-biggest quake since 1900 and lifted the ocean floor in some places by 15 metres. Indonesia’s Aceh province is the hardest-hit area, but the tsunami affects coastal areas as far away as Africa.


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