JAKARTA: A strong 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of North Maluku province in eastern Indonesia early Friday, seismologists said, with the United States tsunami warning centre saying a tsunami was not expected.
The quake hit 140 kilometers northwest of the coastal town of Ternate at a depth of 45 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey.
The US tsunami warning center said a “destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.”
The Indonesian meteorological and climatology agency, however, warned people to stay clear of beaches as a precaution.
The quake was felt strongly in Ternate at 1:17 a.m. (2:17 a.m. in Manila), sending sleeping residents fleeing their houses.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates collide.
Last September, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi Island killed more than 2,200, with 1,000 more declared missing.
On Dec. 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck Aceh province, causing a tsunami and killing more than 170,000 in Indonesia.