Magnitude 7.3 earthquake causes panic in eastern Indonesia

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: July 14, 2019

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A strong, shallow earthquake struck eastern Indonesia's North Maluku province on Sunday, causing panic in several cities and villages. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.3 quake was centered 103 miles southeast of Ternate, the provincial capital, at a depth of 6 miles.

Indonesia's national disaster agency said the land-based earthquake didn't have any potential to cause a tsunami.

Still, many people ran to higher ground, and TV footage showed panicked people screaming while running out of a shopping mall in Ternate.

Ikhsan Subur, a local disaster agency official in Labuha, the closest town to the epicenter, said several hundred people who were afraid of aftershocks fled to temporary shelters near government offices and mosques, and some ran to higher ground.

Subur said no injuries or damage had been reported so far.

Last week, a magnitude 6.9 subsea earthquake caused panic in parts of eastern Indonesia and triggered a tsunami warning.

Indonesia, home to more than 260 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location along the Pacific "Ring of Fire." A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed a total of 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

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