A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Halmahera Island in North Maluku on Sunday afternoon. (Photo from Google Earth)

Tsunami Panic After Powerful Quake Hits North Maluku


JULY 14, 2019

Jakarta. A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit North Maluku on Sunday afternoon, causing widespread panic as residents fled their homes for higher ground fearing a tsunami. 

The authorities ended up not issuing a tsunami warning after the earthquake, whose epicenter was detected 171 kilometers southeast of Ternate at a depth of 10 kilometers.

Strong tremors were felt on Halmahera Island for around five seconds, which caused most of the panic, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said.

Metro TV reported that local residents started rushing to higher ground after they heard rumors that water was coming in from the coast. 

"The earthquake hit Labuha [in South Halmahera] and the surrounding areas. Seven aftershocks were reported after the first tremors," Ikhsan S., an assistant to the South Halmahera district head, told Metro TV.

He said there have been no reports of casualties so far.