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7.3-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesian coast

7.3-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesian coast
An intensity map by the United States Geological Survey shows the location of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck north of Maumere, Indonesia, on Tuesday. Photo by U.S. Geological Survey/EPA-EFE

Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian coast on Tuesday, sending people in towns along the shore seeking higher ground and into the streets.

The earthquake hit about 70 miles north of Maumere on Flores Island. The U.S. Geological Survey said the tremor occurred at a depth of 11 miles.

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Indonesia's Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency initially issued a tsunami warning, but later called it off.

Agency head Dwikorita Karnawati said the area has seen about 15 aftershocks. The USGS said some of the aftershocks registered magnitudes between 5.5 and 5.0.

Maumere, the capital city of Sikka, is the second-largest town on Flores Island with a population of about 90,000. Romanus Woga, deputy head of the Sikka Regency district, told CNN that he felt four or five large shakes, which scared residents.

He said, though, he did not see any noticeable damage to houses or buildings during an initial check in the area. A search began for possible earthquake-related damage and injuries later Tuesday.

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