Indonesians flee homes after powerful quake prompts tsunami warning

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A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Friday triggering a tsunami warning, the meteorological department said, but there was no immediate word on any casualties or damage. The US Geological Survey later said the quake had a magnitude of 7.3.

“Everyone ran out into the street,” Agustinus Florianus, a resident of Maumere town on Flores island, told Reuters.

Tsunami warnings were issued for the areas of Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara and Southeast and South Sulawesi, after the quake hit 112 km (69.59 miles) northwest of Larantuka, in the eastern part of Flores, at a depth of 12 km.

A 5.6-magnitude aftershock hit Larantuka after the first quake, the agency said.

Alfons Hada Betan, head of East Flores Disaster Mitigation agency in Larantuka said there were no immediate reports of damage and the quake was felt for several minutes as people fled from their homes.

People said on social media the earthquake was also felt strongly in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

The U.S-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that based on preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts located within 1,000 km (621.37 miles) of the earthquake’s epicentre.

Indonesia straddles the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.

At least 48 people were killed and hundreds injured when the Mount Semeru volcano erupted on Java island on Dec. 4.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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