International

Early-Morning Offshore Earthquake Reported Off Eastern Indonesia

UPDATE at 2:49 p.m. ET:
NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says "no tsunami threat exists to coastlines in the Pacific."

However — earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a few hundred kilometers of the earthquake epicenter. Authorities in the region of the epicenter should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action.

UPDATE at 2:42 p.m. ET:
Reuters reports the earthquake followed a strong tremor:

A magnitude 7.2 quake struck off Indonesia, just one minute after a strong 6.6 tremor hit a few miles north, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on Wednesday.

The USGS said the second quake, which hit at 2:11 a.m. on Thursday (6:11 p.m. British time on Wednesday), was only 7.6 miles (12.3 km) deep and centred 68 miles (109 km) northwest of Dobo, in the Aru Islands, very close to the first quake.

ORIGINAL POST:
According to The Associated Press, "a strong offshore earthquake hit off eastern Indonesia early Thursday and a local agency warned it had the potential to trigger a tsunami."

The U.S. Geological Survey put the preliminary magnitude of the quake off Papua province at 6.6 and said it was centered 13 miles (20 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor.

The Indonesian meteorological and geophysics agency put the strength at a much stronger 7.4. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

The were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The area closest to the epicenter is a remote, sparsely populated part of the country.

Please check back for updates.

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