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7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Indonesia, Prompting Tsunami Alert

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia early Tuesday, prompting the country to issue a tsunami warning and direct citizens away from the coasts.

The earthquake struck 74 miles north of the Indonesian city Maumere, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Indonesia and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii each issued tsunami warning alerts following the earthquake, the Associated Press reported.

No casualties were reported, according to the AP, though shocks from the quake were reported in 14 districts and cities in Indonesia. Hundreds of buildings, including homes and schools, were damaged by the earthquake.

The U.S. lifted its tsunami warning early Tuesday, citing no evidence for the threat of a tsunami.

“Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii,” the order read.

However, Indonesia’s head of Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency Dwikorita Karnawati warned of a potential tsunami resulting from aftershocks.

“The earlier earthquake no longer has a tsunami potential. But it is very possible there’ll be aftershocks, hopefully not stronger than before,” Karnawati said, according to the AP.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was the result of tectonic plates striking one another.

“The December 14, 2021, M 7.3 earthquake north of Maumere, Indonesia, occurred as the result of strike-slip faulting within the Flores Sea,” the survey said. “Focal mechanism solutions for the earthquake indicate that rupture occurred on either a left-lateral fault striking northeast-southwest, or a right-lateral fault striking approximately east west.”

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