Two powerful earthquakes hit eastern Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Two powerful earthquakes hit waters off eastern Indonesia in rapid succession early Thursday, prompting officials to briefly trigger a tsunami warning.
The U.S. Geological Survey said a 7.2 magnitude quake off Papua province, centered just 7 miles (12 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor, struck less than a minute after a 6.6 temblor in the same location.
The town of Tual on nearby Maluku island was shaken, said Fauzi, chief of the Indonesian meteorological and geophysics agency, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The area closest to the epicenter is remote and sparsely populated.
Located 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) east of the capital, Jakarta, it is closer to the northern Australian city of Darwin, which sits some 560 miles (900 kilometers) to the south.
Fauzi's agency lifted a tsunami warning 90 minutes after the temblors struck, saying the threat for destructive waves had passed.
Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that make the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.
A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.