After a massive undersea quake, Indonesia lifted its tsunami warning
The tsunami warning was removed Tuesday after a magnitude 7.3 underwater earthquake off Flores Island sparked panic but caused no serious damage or casualties.
The quake struck at a depth of 18.5 kilometres (11.5 miles) and was located 112 kilometres (74 miles) north of Maumere, the province’s second-largest town with an estimated 85,000 residents.
Hours after the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii and Indonesia’s meteorological office withdrew the tsunami threat.
Abdul Muhari of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the earthquake hit East Flores hard. People were seen fleeing buildings that trembled.
East Nusa Tenggara province reported one injury.
Across the Flores Sea in South Sulawesi province, Makassar and Selayar Islands districts felt the tremors. In the Selayar Islands, a school was damaged.
Muhari reported minor tsunamis of 7 centimetres (2.8 inches) were detected in Marapokot and Reo.
Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency, warned of more quakes and a possible tsunami along the northern Flores coastline.
“The earlier earthquake no longer has a tsunami potential. But it is very possible there’ll be aftershocks, hopefully not stronger than before,” Karnawati said.
District chief Anton Hayon said no damage was recorded.
“We asked people in the coastal areas to get away from the beach lines, especially in the northern side … as there was a big tsunami there back in 1972,” Hayon said.
Residents have participated in tsunami drills and know what to do.
An earthquake, volcanic eruption, or tsunami can strike Indonesia, which is located on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire,” a ring of volcanoes and faultlines.
In January, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in West Sulawesi province killed at least 105 people and injured almost 6,500.