JAKARTA, Indonesia — A powerful earthquake struck waters off of eastern Indonesia early Thursday and local officials warned it had the potential to trigger a tsunami.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake that hit off Papua province had a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 and was centred 13 miles (20 kilometres) beneath the ocean floor.
It rattled the town of Tual on nearby Maluku island, said Dr. Fauzi, chief of the Indonesian meteorological and geophysics agency, who had no further reports from the field.
The area closest to the epicenter is a remote, sparsely populated part of the country. It is located some 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometres) east of the capital, Jakarta. It is closer to the northern Australian city of Darwin, which sits some 560 miles (900 kilometres) to the south.
Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that make the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.