Tsunami warning lifted after strong earthquake hits off Indonesia

Evarado Alatorre
Abril 17, 2019

At least 20 aftershocks of Friday's quake have been recorded in south Indonesia where a 6.8 measured magnitude of an natural disaster has struck off and rattled central Sulawesi island on Friday afternoon.

However, Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has advised the coastal communities in Morowali district to be on alert for possible aftershocks.

It did not say how many residents had refused to leave the high ground. However, there weren't any immediate reports of the caused casualties or damages.

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

The geophysics agency lifted the warning around 40 minutes after it was imposed, it said on Twitter.

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Hapsah Abdul Madjid, who lives in Luwuk city in Banggai district, Central Sulawesi, where the tremor was felt strongly, said people fled to higher ground and the electricity was cut, adding that residents panicked as fears soared over an imminent tsunami.

Last September, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island killed more than 2,200 with a thousand more declared missing.

The force of the quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction - a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.

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

A strong quake of 6.8 magnitude has rocked the eastern part of Indonesia. In December, a deadly tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands killed over 400 people.

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