A strong earthquake hit Indonesia; residents flee to the streets, writes Reuters

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© Reuters. A permanent image from a video on social media shows people on the street after the earthquake in Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia on December 14, 2021. Aris Zigon / via REUTERS

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – A strong earthquake measuring 7.4 hit eastern Indonesia on Tuesday, triggering a tsunami warning, the meteorological department said, but there is no current information on casualties or damage.

The quake occurred at 3:20 a.m. GMT in the Flores Sea, about 112 km (70 miles) northwest of the city of Larantuca, in the eastern part of Flores Island, at a depth of 12 km.

“Everyone ran out into the street,” Agustinus Florianus, a resident of the town of Maumere in Flores, told Reuters. Maumere was badly damaged in an earthquake of similar magnitude in 1992.

A tsunami alert was issued for the areas of Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara and Southeast and South Sulawesi.

The U.S. Geological Survey later said the quake was of magnitude 7.3. A magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook Larantuka after the first quake, the Indonesian news agency reported.

Indonesia earthquake triggers tsunami warning https://graphics.reuters.com/INDONESIA-QUAKE/zdvxoxjabpx/chart.png

“It felt like a wave, up and down,” Zacharias Gentana Keranz, a Larantuka resident, told Reuters.

Alfons Hada Bethan, head of the disaster mitigation agency in East Flores, Larantuka, said there were no immediate reports of damage and that the quake was felt for minutes as people fled their homes.

People said on social media that the quake was also felt strongly in Makassar in South Sulawesi.

The U.S.-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said dangerous tsunami waves were possible based on preliminary quake parameters for shores located within 1,000 km (621.37 miles) of the quake’s epicenter.

Muhammad, unfortunately, a meteorological agency official said people from Metro TV should stay away from the beach, adding that the tsunami warning would be lifted at least two hours after it was issued.

Indonesia is located on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, an area of ​​high seismic activity located on several tectonic plates.

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

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