Indonesia issues tsunami warning after earthquake of 7.3 magnitude
A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. Authorities issued a tsunami warning saying hazardous waves were possible in the wake of the quake. The warning has since been lifted. The epicenter was reportedly north of the island of Flores in the country's East Nusa Tenggara province. Here are more details on this.
The earthquake struck the Flores Sea at a depth of 18.5 kilometers, according to the USGS. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had earlier said tsunami waves were possible within a 1,000km radius of the epicenter. No significant damages or casualties have been reported from the affected areas so far but the authorities have urged caution.
"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, according to Agence France-Presse. Alwan, a resident of Buton in Southeast Sulawesi (one of the areas where tsunami warning was issued), said, "I was checking my phone when the quake hit. I felt it for 30 seconds. It was strong."
TV footage from the affected areas showed people running away from buildings after they felt tremors, according to Associated Press. Anton Hayon, the chief of Flores Timur district, said no damage had been reported. "We asked people in the coastal areas to get away from the beach lines, especially in the northern side...as there was a big tsunami there back in 1972," Hayon said.
Indonesia, the Southeast Asian country comprising hundreds of islands, is frequently hit by natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. It is prone because of its location on the Ring of Fire—an arc of volcanoes and faultlines in the Pacific Ocean's basin. The country witnessed its last major earthquake in January, a 6.2-magnitude quake that killed at least 105 people and injured thousands.