Massive 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Indonesia, Evacuations in Australia’s Darwin After Tremors Reported

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of Indonesia in the Banda Sea on June 24 at 11:53 a.m. local time, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The significant tremor was felt as far away as Darwin in Australia—about 700 kilometers to the southeast.

Residents further south in Maningrida and Katherine also reported feeling the sustained tremors, reported the ABC.

Australia’s NT News reported that buildings in Northern Territory’s capital were shaking from the tremors that lasted for about five minutes, adding that several hotels and businesses in the central business district were evacuated.

According to the ABC, workers at the Health House on Mitchell Street have been told to go home for the day. The building remains evacuated and engineers have been called onsite to assess the damage, the national broadcaster reported.

According to ABC news Darwin, many locals have been saying that it was the biggest earthquake they have felt in years.

One Palmerston resident said that the back wall of his house was cracked during the quake.

Amanda Jayne commented on social media: “We are on the 7th floor of Quest Palmerston, I felt the tremor start about 3mins before the building started to sway/shake. I got dizzy then everything started shaking, I thought the washing was banging the wall then EVERYTHING was like a wave.”

Another local, Stephen Kerry, took to social media to share: “I’m 8 stories high & in CBD; it brought back terrible memories of Newcastle in 1989. Me and the cats definitely vacated the building.”

The local office of 9 News Darwin posted a video of the tremors on their Facebook page.

No tsunami warning was issued for the quake.

According to the USGS, the epicenter of the quake was 208 kilometers (129 miles) deep.

Jonathan Bathgate, a senior seismologist at Geoscience Australia, told the ABC that “just before midday local time, at 11:53am, we recorded a major 7.2 earthquake which occurred in the Banda Sea about 700 kilometres north of Darwin.

“It’s certainly possible to get aftershocks from an earthquake of this sort of magnitude — it’s very likely,” Bathgate said.

According to the USGS, the quake was followed by a 5.2 magnitude aftershock at 12: 28 p.m. local time.

Earlier at 7:38 a.m., a smaller 4.5 magnitude quake was reported about 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the south, between Teun and Nila Islands in the Banda Sea.

From NTD.com

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