Two strong quakes hit Indonesia: M7.3 felt more than 450 miles away in Australia and M6.1 followed by series of moderately-strong aftershocks

Location of the epicenter of the second earthquake, in Indonesia’s Banda Sea. (Mapbox)

Two strong earthquakes hit Indonesia on June 24, 2019: A M7.3 and a M6.1.

The first quake struck Indonesia’s Papua and has triggered a sustained swarm of moderately strong tremors that is still ongoing. The second quake hit in Indonesia’s Banda Sea, but authorities said there is no tsunami threat.

M7.3 earthquake and M6.1 earthquake hit Indonesia june 24 2019
M7.3 earthquake and M6.1 earthquake hit Indonesia june 24, 2019. Earthquake map via USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.3 quake was centered 129 miles below the earth’s surface. Still, residents in the Australian city of Darwin, approximately 720 kilometers away (450 miles), said they could feel shaking due to the seismic activity. 

Nine News Darwin said on Twitter shaking could be felt in its studios for several minutes.

Buildings throughout the city were evacuated due to the quake.

Indonesia’s geophysics agency said the deep quake didn’t cause a tsunami.

M7.3 earthquake hits Indonesia june 24 2019
A M7.3 earthquake hits Indonesia on June 24, 2019. Earthquake map via USGS

The Banda Sea quake was recorded minutes after a 6.1 temblor in a thinly populated area 144 miles west of Papua province’s Abepura town, at a depth of 12 miles.

This first quake created a cascade of moderately strong aftershocks that are still ongoing.

M6.1 earthquake Indonesia june 24 2019
A M6.1 earthquake hits Indonesia on June 24, 2019. Earthquake map via USGS

Rahmat Triyono, Indonesia’s head of the earthquake and tsunami center, said the Papua quake was followed by several smaller aftershocks, but there was no immediate report of major damage or injuries.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed a total of 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

[USGS, USGS, LA Times]

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