Tremors felt in Australia after earthquake of magnitude 7.3 hits Indonesia; no immediate reports of major damage or casualties yet

Jakarta: A powerful magnitude 7.3 quake struck eastern Indonesia on Monday, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.

The quake hit at a depth of 208 kilometres south of Ambon island in the Banda Sea at 8:23 am, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a tsunami as the quake was too deep. Indonesia's disaster agency said the tremor was felt in faraway Bali, while residents of the northern Australian city of Darwin also felt it.

The city evacuated parts of its central business district after the quake struck, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Australia lies south of Indonesia, the world's biggest archipelago nation, which is regularly struck by quakes.

"Wow, that was quite an impact for #Darwin, hope everyone is safe," the bureau of meteorology in Australia's Northern Territory said on Twitter.

The strong temblor came hours after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Papua, also in the eastern part of the Southeast Asian archipelago. That quake hit about 240 kilometres west of the town of Abepura in Papua province, at a relatively shallow depth of 21 kilometres, according to the USGS.

There were also no immediate reports of casualties after the earthquake. A shallower 6.3 magnitude hit the area last week, but the damage was not extensive.

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

Updated Date: Jun 24, 2019 10:55:41 IST