Indonesians flee their homes after magnitude 7.3 earthquake triggers tsunami warning | Earthquake
The epicenter was north of the island of Flores, in Indonesia’s eastern province of Nusa Tenggara, where the earthquake sparked terror.
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, with observers briefly warning of the possibility of dangerous tsunami waves before lifting the threat.
The epicenter was north of Flores Island, in Indonesia’s eastern province of Nusa Tenggara, where the earthquake sparked terror after striking around 3:20 GMT.
The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics, known as BMKG, previously reported the 7.4 magnitude earthquake and warned of a “potential tsunami.”
âI was in the field. People ran in panic. I’m still … scared, “Nuraini, a resident of Adonara Island in the Flores Est regency, told AFP news agency.
Terrified people were shown screaming as they gathered on the street as the earth shook, according to video obtained by Al Jazeera of Marius Jelamu, a spokesperson for the governor’s office of East Nusa Tenggara.
Another video provided by the same source showed a slight increase in the water level in a coastal area of ââthe province but no major tsunami were reported.
There has also been no significant damage or fatalities reported in areas where the quake was felt, although authorities have urged caution.
The USGS said the risk of losses was low while noting that “recent earthquakes in this region have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis and landslides which may have contributed to the losses.”
“Everyone ran out into the streets,” Agustinus Florianus, a resident of the town of Maumere on the island of Flores, told Reuters news agency.
Tsunami warnings were issued for areas of Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara and Southeast and South Sulawesi, after the earthquake struck 112 km (69.59 miles) northwest of Larantuka, in the eastern part of Flores, at a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles).
A 5.6 magnitude aftershock struck Larantuka after the first earthquake, according to reports.
Alfons Hada Betan, head of the East Flores Disaster Mitigation Agency in Larantuka, also said there was no immediate report of damage and that the quake was felt for several minutes as people were fleeing their homes.
People said on social media that the earthquake was also strongly felt in Makassar in South Sulawesi.
Indonesia experiences frequent earthquakes 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 to the Southeast Asia and across the Pacific Basin.
Among the series of deadly earthquakes in Indonesia was a devastating 9.1 magnitude earthquake in 2004 that struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 people across the region, including an estimated 170,000 in Indonesia.
The Boxing Day disaster was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.
In 2018, a powerful earthquake shook Lombok Island and several more tremors followed over the next two weeks, killing more than 550 people on Holiday Island and neighboring Sumbawa.
Later that year, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Palu on the island of Sulawesi left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.
On December 4, at least 48 people were killed and hundreds injured in the Mount Semeru volcano erupting on the island of Java on December 4.
With additional reporting from Aisyah Llewellyn