Indonesia Issues Tsunami Warning After Magnitude 6.9 Quake

JAKARTA, Indonesia—Indonesian authorities issued a tsunami warning after a strong earthquake struck late July 7 night in the Molucca Sea between North Sulawesi and the Maluku archipelago.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.9 quake was centered 115 miles southeast of Manado at a depth of 24 kilometers (15 miles).

A graphic posted on Twitter by Indonesia’s geophysics agency predicted waves of half a meter (1.6 feet) for parts of North Sulawesi and North Maluku. There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.

The quake caused panic in the city of Ternate in the Maluku island chain, where people ran to higher ground, a witness told The Associated Press.

Radio El Shinta reported that residents in Manado, North Sulawesi’s provincial capital, ran out of their houses.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

Update on California Quakes

High desert communities in Southern California on Saturday assessed damage and braced for potentially dangerous aftershocks from a major earthquake that shook buildings, ruptured gas lines and sparked fires near the remote epicenter of the second temblor in as many days.

The powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked the Mojave Desert town of Ridgecrest south of Death Valley National Park as darkness fell on Friday, jolting the area with eight times more force than a 6.4 quake that struck the same area 34 hours earlier.

California Governor Gavin Newsom placed the state Office of Emergency Services (OES) on its highest alert and requested federal assistance.

He told a news conference in Ridgecrest on Saturday that he had just got off a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, seeking a presidential emergency declaration.

“I have full confidence that the president will be forthcoming, in immediate terms, with the formal declaration,” Newsom said, flanked by first responders.

There were several minor to moderate injuries, OES Director Mark Ghilarducci told reporters.

“No reports of any fatalities, so I think we’re very lucky there,” he said.

There were reports of building fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas-line breaks, Ghilarducci said.
State officials said all roads damaged by the quakes had been repaired and reopened.

Violent shaking also caused water-main breaks and knocked out power and communications to parts of Ridgecrest, home to about 27,000 people some 125 miles (200 km) northeast of Los Angeles.

Reuters contributed to this report.