Friday, February 15, 2019 22:47

Tsunami Alert Sparks Panic in Indonesia

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Posted by on Sunday, November 16, 2014, 12:18
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A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the Maluku Islands in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, sparking a tsunami warning and causing panicked people to flee their homes.

Tsunami Alert

Tsunami Alert

Small waves generated by the undersea quake were detected in several parts of the sprawling archipelago, local authorities said, although there were no reports of casualties or major damage and the tsunami warning was lifted after a short while.

Nevertheless, the prospect of a major tsunami set nerves on edge in one of the most seismically active countries in the world, almost a decade after quake-triggered destructive waves devastated western Aceh province.

Saturday’s tremor struck northwest of the town of Kota Ternate, at 0231 GMT, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by a series of aftershocks that measured between magnitude 4.3 and 5.8, the USGS said.

“Tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 kilometres,” said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The centre also warned of small tsunami waves in the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and islands in the South Pacific.

On the tiny Sangihe Islands close to the epicentre in Indonesia, people ran out of their homes when the quake hit, Toni Supit, head of the islands’ Sitaro district, told AFP.

“People in coastal areas felt the strong quake, which lasted for quite some time, and they immediately went to the sea to see if the water was receding abnormally, which is a sign of an incoming tsunami,” he said.

Tsunami waves were detected at Jailolo on Halmahera Island, in the Maluku Islands, the meteorological agency said. Tiny waves were also detected in Tobelo on Halmahera, and in Manado, on nearby Sulawesi Island.

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