A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit at 10:31 am Saturday morning, local time, off the coast of the Maluku Islands in eastern Indonesia, prompting the issue of a tsunami warning, which was later called off.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of 29 miles, with the epicenter being roughly 83 miles northwest of Kota Ternate.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said significant tsunamis were possible within a 185 mile radius of the quake's epicenter. The center added that there is no danger of a Pacific-wide tsunami, and minimal damage and no fatalities were reported in Indonesia.
Still, citizens along the coast of the Sitaro Islands began to flee from their homes before authorities called off the warning. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman at an Indonesian emergency agency, said that people were warned to stay clear of beaches and riverbanks.
— Lowlands Solutions (@LowlandsSN) November 15, 2014
Toni Supit, head of the islands’ Sitaro district, commented, “people in coastal areas felt the strong quake, which lasted for quite some time, and they immediately went to the sea to see if the water was receding abnormally, which is a sign of an incoming tsunami."
— ST Foreign Desk (@STForeignDesk) November 15, 2014
On December 26, 2004, the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake created a tsunami that killed an estimated 220,000 in Indonesia. The quake involved in that disaster was magnitude 9.2.
Here is a clip of the 2004 tsunami:
Indonesia is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" fault line, which is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity. The Ring of Fire encompasses 452 volcanoes and sees roughly 90% of the world's seismic events.