Asia-Pacific

7.2-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia felt in Darwin

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A 7.2-magnitude earthquake in a remote area of Indonesia in the Banda Sea has prompted an evacuation in the Australian city of Darwin.

An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck in a remote area of Indonesia in the Banda Sea on Monday, but there were no initial tsunami warnings.

The quake hit at a depth of 220 km (136 miles), the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected after the quake, which was initially recorded with a magnitude of 7.2.

The location of the earthquake.
The location of the earthquake.
Google Maps

No tsunami threat

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said the earthquake was felt as far as Darwin. The centre said the magnitude 7.2 earthquake occurred at 12:53 PM AEST near Banda Sea.

No tsunami threat to the Australian mainland or territories has been detected, the centre added in its advisory.

Darwin residents evacuated

Residents in Darwin reported experiencing tremors from the earthquake, with some reporting damage to their property. Residents evacuated from shaking buildings.

"My house is still shaking in Palmerston. And back wall is slightly cracked," one resident said in a message on Twitter.

Ships near Darwin also reported feeling the earthquake's tremors.

Dave Owen said the ship he was on rattled "severely for a whole minute".

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide.

Last year, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island killed more than 2,200 with a thousand more declared missing.

On December 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck Aceh province, causing a tsunami and killing more than 170,000.

Additional reporting: AFP, Reuters

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