Tsunami warning lifted after strong quake off Indonesia
Indonesian authorities on Wednesday lifted a tsunami warning issued after an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck the easternmost province of Papua, DPA reported.
The quake sparked panic in Biak and Manokwari districts but there were no immediate reports of casualties, officials and television reports said. The tsunami watch was cancelled an hour later.
The quake occurred at 12:16 pm (0316 GMT), with an epicentre about 123 kilometres south-east of Biak at a depth of 10 kilometres, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.
It was preceded by a magnitude-6.2 quake around the same area and followed by another measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale.
"We felt the ground and the building shaking strongly," said Ibnu Sulistyono, an official at the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Biak.
"People ran out of their homes but I haven't seen any damage around here," he added.
A Biak resident named Yuliana told Metro TV by telephone that coastal residents were ready to flee to higher ground.
"When the second quake hit, people suddenly stopped working and panic," she said.
A magnitude-9.2 quake struck in December 2004 off Sumatra caused a tsunami that spread death and destruction across the Indian Ocean. More than 170,000 people perished in Aceh province alone.
Indonesia sits on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", one of the most active areas for earthquakes and volcanic activity in the world.