Major 7.3 quake hits remote Malukus in eastern Indonesia

Indonesia earthquake

Indonesia earthquake

A magnitude 7.3 quake struck the Moluccas islands in eastern Indonesia on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported, causing panic among residents, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

The USGS is reporting a second quake has rocked the region, a magnitude 5.8 which struck 63km north of Laiwui.

The shallow quake hit early Sunday afternoon 10 kilometers under the Indian Ocean 203 kilometers west of the West Australian beach resort of Broome, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicentre was recorded in Halmahera, the largest island in North Maluku - on the eastern side of the Asian country.

On December 26, 2004, a devastating 9.1-magnitude natural disaster struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 across the Indian Ocean region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.

A 5.8 magnitude aftershock followed around 30 minutes after, the agency website showed.

Officials were assessing the situation but there were no immediate reports of casualties, Mansur said.

"But people panicked and ran out of their houses".

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide.

The most devastating in recent Indonesian history was on December 26 in 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a massive tsunami that killed around 226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including more than 126,000 in Indonesia.

On December 26, 2004, a devastating 9.1-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.

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