Earthquake of 7.5-magnitude hits eastern Indonesia, tremors felt in Australia

Earthquake of 7.5-magnitude hits eastern Indonesia, tremors felt in Australia

Indonesia earthquake Jun 24 Maluku
(Graphic: United States Geological Survey)

JAKARTA: An earthquake of 7.5-magnitude struck in a remote area of Indonesia in the Banda Sea on Monday (Jun 24), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but there were no initial tsunami warnings.

The quake hit at a depth of 220km, the USGS said. There were no reports of casualties or any damage after the quake hit.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected after the quake, which was initially recorded with a magnitude of 7.2.

Indonesia's disaster agency said the tremor was felt in faraway Bali, while residents of the northern Australian city of Darwin also felt it.

The city evacuated parts of its central business district after the quake struck, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Residents in the Northern Territory reported feeling tremors as far south as Katherine and Maningrida, more than 300km away. 

"Wow, that was quite an impact for #Darwin, hope everyone is safe," the bureau of meteorology in Australia's Northern Territory said on Twitter.

The bureau, however said there was no current tsunami threat to Australia.

Australia lies south of Indonesia, the world's biggest archipelago nation, which is regularly struck by quakes.

Earlier Monday, Indonesia's Papua province was hit by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake, about 240km west of the town of Abepura, at a relatively shallow depth of 21km, according to the USGS.

There were no immediate reports of casualties after that quake.

A shallower 6.3-magnitude tremor hit the area last week, but the damage was not extensive.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide.

Last year, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island killed more than 2,200 with a thousand more declared missing.

On Dec 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck Aceh province, causing a tsunami and killing more than 170,000.

Source: CNA/Agencies/zl