An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale struck the Molucca Sea region in Indonesia on Friday. The authorities have issued a tsunami alert on Thursday after a powerful earthquake struck in the sea near the Moluccas, prompting panicked islanders to flee to higher ground.
According to the US Geological Survey, the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and struck 139 km (86 miles) northwest of the city of Ternate at a depth of 45 km. Earlier, the agency put the magnitude at 7.4.
The quake was also felt strongly on the island of Sulawesi, to the west of the epicenter. Metro TV said some residents had fled to higher ground in the North Moluccas.
There were no immediate reports of injury or damage, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 300km (186 miles) of the epicentre. It reported no tsunami risk for more distant areas.
(With inputs from AP)
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