Palu, July 26: A strong, shallow underwater earthquake shook central Indonesia on Monday but no serious damage was immediately reported and no tsunami warning was issued. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.2 quake was centred at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles) about 98 km (60 miles) west-northwest of Luwuk, a town in Central Sulawesi province.

Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency official Taufan Maulana said the quake was felt in many parts of the province but there was no danger of a tsunami.

Still, many people in the provincial capital of Palu ran to higher ground, haunted by the memory of a devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the city three years ago that set off a tsunami as well as a phenomenon called liquefaction, in which wet soil collapses because of the shaking. More than 4,000 people died. Earthquake in Japan: Quake of Magnitude 5.1 Jolts Aomori, No Tsunami Warning Issued.

“I felt the shaking was strong...people were running from their houses,” said Muhammad Rusli, a resident of Ampana town. He said most people ran to higher ground and there was a power blackout following the quake.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 271 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because of its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanos and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In January, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people, injured nearly 6,500, and displaced more than 92,000 in West Sulawesi province.

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