Indonesia lifts tsunami warning issued after powerful quake (Lead)

November 17th, 2008 - 2:24 am ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, Nov 17 (DPA) Indonesia has lifted a tsunami warning after tidal waves failed to materialise following a powerful earthquake that struck off the country’s north Sulawesi province early Monday.An official at Indonesia’s National Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said the tsunami warning was lifted, more than an hour after the 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck 138 km northwest of Gorontalo in North Sulawesi at about 01:02 a.m Monday.

“A tsunami warning was cancelled after no tidal wave took place following the quake,” Subagyo, who like many Indonesians goes only by one name, said.

An 6.0-magnitude aftershock followed about 30 minutes later the powerful quake at a depth of 30 km beneath the seabed, the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injury and structural damage. But media reports said the quake had caused widespread panic in the country.

The state-run Antara news agency reported that residents in Palu and Toli-toli districts ran out their homes in panic.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the edge of a tectonic plate prone to seismic upheaval.

A major earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck in December 2004, leaving more than 170,000 people dead or missing and around 500,000 homeless in Indonesia’s Aceh province.

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