7.0-magnitude earthquake hits eastern Indonesia

TEHRAN, Jan. 18 (MNA) – An offshore earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 hit near eastern Indonesia's Maluku islands on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported, triggering a tsunami warning that was later lifted.

The epicenter of the tremor was located 150 kilometers northwest of the eastern Indonesian island of Halmahera, at a depth of 48 kilometers, according to Japan Times. 

There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

The quake occurred around 13:06 pm local time off the coast of Sulawesi Island, shaking nearby islands and forcing residents to flee in panic.

"The quake was felt around 15 to 20 seconds. The shakings were quite long," said a journalist on Morotai island in the Maluku archipelago.

"Some people went outside because they were afraid of buildings collapsing."

The NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said in its updated warning after the quake that the tsunami threat had passed.

It said earlier tsunami waves could hit coastal areas around 300 kilometers from the epicenter.

The quake was also revised down from an initial magnitude of 7.2 reported by the USGS.

Daryono, the head of the agency's earthquake and tsunami center who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said the tremor was followed by five aftershocks, the largest with a magnitude of 5.3.


News Code 196321


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