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6.9 magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia, tsunami warning issued

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 07, 2019, 09.27 PM (IST)

A 6.9 magnitude quake struck off the northeastern coast of Indonesia's Sulawesi island late on Sunday, triggering a tsunami warning, reported news agency AFP.

The quake struck out at sea at a depth of 10 kilometres according to Indonesia's geophysics agency, the report added.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.9. 

The shallow quake struck at a depth of 24 kilometres and was centred in the Molucca Sea between north Sulawesi and north Maluku, AFP report said quoting USGS.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, but residents in the city of Ternate in North Maluku province described the panic when the quake hit.

"I was getting ready to sleep when the window started rattling," resident Budi Nurgianto told AFP.

"It was very strong -- I ran from my house and all my neighbours fled too."

According to the USGS, considerable damage was possible in poorly built or badly designed structures. 

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-hit nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.

It has been hit by a string of deadly quakes including a devastating 2004 tremor measuring 9.1 magnitude that struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including 168,000 in Indonesia. 

The Boxing Day disaster was the world's third biggest quake since 1900, and lifted the ocean floor in some places by 15 metres (50 feet). 

(With inputs from AFP)