Damage to the wall of a house on Ternate Island in North Maluku after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the area on Friday morning. (Photo courtesy of the BNPB)

Powerful Earthquake in North Maluku Triggers Small Tsunamis


NOVEMBER 15, 2019

Jakarta. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, or BMKG, has lifted a tsunami warning that was issued after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the Molucca Sea early on Friday morning. Two hours later the warning was retracted, but there were reports of a series of "small tsunamis" – ranging from 0.1-meter to 0.9-meter high – in some areas.

"A 0.6 meter-high tsunami was detected in Ternate at 11.43 p.m. local time. Another one was detected at a height of 0.9 meter in Jailolo on Halmahera Island at around the same time. Bitung [in North Sulawesi] experienced a 0.1 meter-high tsunami at 12.08 a.m.," Agus Wibowo, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said in a statement on Friday morning.

The BNPB also reported that two people in Ternate were injured, six homes and two places of worship suffered light damage and more aftershocks were felt until Friday morning.

Conditions have returned to normal in locations where strong tremors were felt. Residents who ran away to higher grounds when the quake hit had all returned home by this morning, the BNPB said.

Ternate Island and Halmahera Island are located in the province of North Maluku.

BNPB staff and military soldiers on the ground are still collecting data on damages and possible casualties from the disaster.