Strong earthquake hits eastern Indonesia, no tsunami alert

September 25, 2019 - 5:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong inland earthquake has struck eastern Indonesia, causing people to flee to higher ground in panic. There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.5 quake was centered 37 kilometers (23 miles) northeast of Ambon, the capital of Maluku province at a depth of 29 kilometers (18 miles).

Rahmat Triyono, the head of Indonesia's earthquake and tsunami center, said the inland earthquake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami, but witnesses told television stations that panicked people along coastal areas ran to higher ground.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It lies on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Basin.