Tsunami alert lifted, after 7.1 quake causes panic in Indonesia

Reuters

Posted at Nov 15 2019 01:03 AM | Updated as of Nov 15 2019 03:13 AM

JAKARTA (2ND UPDATE)—Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency said in a message on its Twitter account it had lifted a tsunami alert after a powerful earthquake struck near the Moluccas islands on Thursday. 

The earthquake prompted panicked islanders to flee to higher ground, according to residents and a media report.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and struck 139 km (86 miles) northwest of the city of Ternate at a depth of 45 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Earlier, the agency put the magnitude at 7.4.

Meanwhile, immediately after the tremor struck, the Phivolcs said there is not tsunami threat to the Philippines.

The quake was also felt strongly on the island of Sulawesi, to the west of the epicenter.

Indah Lengkong, a resident of port city of Bitung in North Sulawesi, said by text message: "The house was visibly shaking."

People in her neighbourhood had initially panicked, she said, adding: "The quake was very strong and lasted for a while. We can still feel tremors but weaker."

Twitter user @inritaehyungie, who lives in Tondano in North Sulawesi, also felt the quake strongly.

"The earth was literally shaking so hard," she said.

Metro TV said some residents had fled to higher ground in the North Moluccas. (Reporting by Jakarta bureau Writing by David Evans and Ed Davies; Editing by Catherine Evans)