A powerful earthquake struck deep under the sea in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, causing panic and sending residents running out of their homes, officials and witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The quake had a magnitude of 7.0, but at a depth of 138 km was too far below the earth’s surface to cause a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
Saturday’s quake came as Indonesia is still recovering from a devastating earthquake last month that killed more than 1,000 people on western Sumatra.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the latest quake — the second strong temblor in two days — was located 365 km southeast of Ambon in the Maluku islands in the Banda Sea.
The shaking was strong and people ran to higher ground fearing a tsunami, said Ian Kotualubun, an official with Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Saumlaki, the area closest to the epicentre, about 2,700 km east of the capital, Jakarta.
Police in Saumlaki said they had received no reports of damage or injuries.
Indonesia sits above a series of fault lines that make the vast island nation one of the most earthquake-prone places in the world. A massive quake off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 2,30,000 people, half of the victims on Sumatra island.