Thursday, November 14th 2019, 1:05 pm - The tsunami threat has passed after a large earthquake strikes near Indonesia's Molucca Sea early Friday morning
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a large 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia at around 12:17 a.m. local time Friday. Earlier, the agency put the magnitude at 7.4.
A tsunami warning was issued following the quake, which occurred in the Molucca Sea between North Sulawesi and North Maluku. Shortly after being issued, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, "Based on all available data...the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed."
"Minor sea level fluctuations may occur in some coastal areas near the earthquake over the next few hours," the warning center added.
There have been no reports of damage so far, but the quake was also strongly felt on the island of Sulawesi, to the west of the epicenter. Metro TV said some residents had fled to higher ground in the North Moluccas.
When referencing the earthquake, seismologist Stephen Hicks of Imperial College London, tweeted earlier that, "fortunately, it has occurred offshore and at a reasonably deep depth (~60 km) so risk of damage from shaking and tsunami is low."
Magnitude ~7 earthquake just now between the islands of Sulawesi and Halmahera in Indonesia. Fortunately, it has occurred offshore and at a reasonably deep depth (~60 km) so risk of damage from shaking and tsunami is low. Part of a cluster that has produced M7+ events in the pastStephen Hicks 🇪🇺 on Twitter
In a Reuters report, Indah Lengkong, a resident of port city of Bitung in North Sulawesi said, "the quake was very strong and lasted for a while. We can still feel tremors but weaker."
With files from Reuters