6.8 earthquake strikes off of Indonesia, sparking brief tsunami warning and sending terrified locals fleeing from their homes

Friday, April 12, 2019
By Paul Martin

The quake struck at a depth of 17km (10.5 miles) off the coast of Sulawesi island
Tremors were felt for hundreds of kilometres and a tsunami warning was issued
In September a 7.5-magnitude quake-tsunami killed 4,400 people on the island

12 April 2019

A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia today sparking a brief tsunami warning and sending terrified residents running for higher ground.

Panic broke out as buildings swayed and electricity was cut off when the quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 miles off the east coast of Sulawesi island.

Indonesia’s geophysics agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal communities in Morowali district, where residents were advised to move away from the coast.

The epicenter of the quake was off the coast of eastern Sulawesi, 175 miles south of the province of Gorontalo and on the other side of the island from disaster-hit city of Palu, where a 7.5-magnitude quake followed by a 20ft tsunami killed more than 4,400 people last September.

However tremors were still felt near Palu, causing residents to run into the streets in panic.

After about 40 minutes the agency lifted the tsunami warning, while still urging people to remain vigilant and evacuate to higher ground.

It had estimated the wave at under a half a metre (20 inches).

In the twin quake-and-tsunami tragedy that hit Palu, high waves hit the shore after the tsunami warning had been lifted.

Hapsah Abdul Madjid, who lives in Luwuk city in Banggai district, Central Sulawesi, where the tremor was felt strongly, said people fled to higher ground and the electricity was cut, adding that residents’ fears soared over an imminent tsunami.

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