7.2 earthquake shakes east Indonesia, no tsunami warning

January 18, 2023
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake occurred 60 kilometers (37.2 miles) deep under the sea.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake occurred 60 kilometers (37.2 miles) deep under the sea.

JAKARTA — A powerful earthquake with a 7.2 magnitude struck off Indonesia's North Sulawesi province on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reported quoting the country's geophysics agency.

No damage was immediately reported and no tsunami warning issued.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu warned in a bulletin that there was a risk of tsunami waves located within 300 kilometers of the epicenter. However, it lifted the warning shortly afterward.

The Indonesian agency said the quake's epicenter was at a depth of 64 kilometers (39.77 miles), 141 kilometers southeast of the town of Melonguane.

A resident in the city of Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi, said by telephone that the quake was felt very strongly for several seconds and people were seen running out of buildings.

However, the resident said, so far, no visible damage had been seen and some people had returned to their homes. The quake was also felt in the Maluku islands, the local disaster agency added.

Some residents tried to escape from their houses after the magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

Pius Ohoiwutun, a resident of Tobelo said that some people were running from houses when the quake shook.

“I felt a little swaying as the lamps also said. Some people tried to escape from their houses,” Ohoiwutun said on Wednesday.

A magnitude 6.1 quake also shook eastern Indonesia earlier Wednesday morning. No damage was reported.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago and a home of more than 270 million people, is frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Basin.

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 21 killed at least 331 people in West Java. It was the deadliest in Indonesia since a 2018 quake and tsunami in Sulawesi that killed about 4,340 people.

In 2004, an extremely powerful Indian Ocean quake set off a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province. — Agencies

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