Indonesia earthquake

This handout picture taken and released by Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) shows villagers beside a collapsed house at Tegalrejo village, in Blitar, East Java. Photo: AFP/INDONESIAN NATIONAL BOARD OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT

7.3-magnitude quake in Indonesia sparks fears of another tsunami

An earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Tuesday, with monitors briefly warning of the possibility of hazardous tsunami waves before lifting the threat.

Indonesia earthquake

This handout picture taken and released by Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) shows villagers beside a collapsed house at Tegalrejo village, in Blitar, East Java. Photo: AFP/INDONESIAN NATIONAL BOARD OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT

The epicentre was north of the island of Flores in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province, where the quake sparked terror after hitting in the late morning (0320 GMT).

“I was in the field. People ran in panic. I am still… scared,” said Nuraini, a resident of Adonara island in the East Flores regency.

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DON’T PANIC: AUTHORITIES

No significant damage or deaths were immediately reported from the areas where the quake was felt, but authorities urged caution.

Indonesian authorities have urged residents of affected areas to not panic but seek a safe location away from the shore.

The quake struck in the Flores Sea at a depth of 18.5 kilometres (11 miles), the USGS said, detecting the epicentre around 100 kilometres north of the town of Maumere.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake no longer posed a threat of tsunamis after earlier warning that such waves were possible within a 1,000 km radius of the epicentre.

RING OF FIRE

Indonesia experiences frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity where tectonic plates collide that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. 

Among Indonesia’s string of deadly quakes was a devastating 2004 9.1-magnitude tremor that struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including about 170,000 in Indonesia.

In 2018, a powerful quake shook the island of Lombok and several more tremors followed over the next couple of weeks, killing more than 550 people on the holiday island and neighbouring Sumbawa.

Later that year, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

© Agence France-Presse