Powerful quake strikes off central Indonesia, tsunami alert lifted

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-12 21:44:14|Editor: xuxin
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JAKARTA, April 12 (Xinhua) -- A strong quake of revised 6.8 magnitude on the Richter scale rocked off Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province on Friday evening while a tsunami warning was lifted as giant waves did not appear, an official of the meteorology and geophysics agency said.

Earlier the agency reported that the quake was gauged at a 6.9 magnitude before the revision, Bayu Pranata, the official in charge at the agency told Xinhua by phone.

"We have just terminated the tsunami warning as tsunami did not happen," Pranata said.

The quake struck at 18:40 p.m. Jakarta time (1140 GMT) with an epicenter at 85 km southwest of Banggai Kepulauan and 10 km under the sea bed, he said.

One of the strongest intensities of the quake was felt at 4 MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) in Luwuk district, he added.

The agency has issued a warning for the communities along the coastal lines to avoid the territories.

The jolts have triggered panic and forced people to evacuate, such as in the Luwuk and Marowali districts.

The national disaster management agency has not issued a preliminary report of damages or casualty yet, but risks assessment on the impact of the natural disaster is being carried out, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the agency told Xinhua in a text message.

People in the districts of Marowali, Luwuk and Kepulauan Banggai had been evacuated to higher grounds, he added.

The tremors were also felt in Taliabu of North Maluku province, forcing local people to evacuate to safer areas, said Sutopo.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes as it lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire".