Indonesia issued a tsunami alert on Thursday after a powerful earthquake struck in the sea near the Moluccas, prompting panicked islanders to flee to higher ground, according to residents and a media report.
The quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and struck 139 km northwest of the city of Ternate at a depth of 45 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Earlier, the agency put the magnitude at 7.4.
The quake was also felt strongly on the island of Sulawesi, to the west of the epicenter.
Metro TV said some residents had fled to higher ground in the North Moluccas.