7.3 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia, ‘possible’ tsunami
Jakarta (AFP) – A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, as observers warned of the possibility of dangerous tsunami waves.
The USGS said the earthquake struck about 100 kilometers north of the town of Maumere at a depth of 18.5 kilometers (11 miles) in the Flores Sea at 3:20 a.m. GMT.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that “dangerous waves are possible for coasts less than 1000 km (600 miles) from the epicenter of the earthquake.”
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.”
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 magnitude 9.1 earthquake in 2004 that struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 people across the region, including about 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 dead or missing.
© 2021 AFP