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Earthquake of magnitude 7.5 shakes East Timor and Australia

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 24, 2019
East Timor capital Dili
Asia   East Timor capital Dili

A powerful, deep 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the coasts of East Timor and Indonesia nd was felt as far away as Australia.

Strong shaking caused alarm in the East Timor capital Dili prompting people to run out of their houses, a Reuters witness said, but there were no immediate reports of damage, injuries or deaths.

The quake struck in the Banda Sea in Indonesia and was felt across northern Australia. In Darwin, around 435 miles away from the epicenter, it hit at lunchtime and office workers sought safety outside. No damage or injuries were reported.

“It’s probably one of the strongest I’ve felt in my time here in Darwin,” Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Chris Kent told ABC Radio Darwin.

“We ended up wandering outside for about 15 minutes to let things settle down,” he said.

ConocoPhillips, operator of the Darwin LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant, and Inpex, operator of Ichthys LNG onshore facilities, both said their sites were operating normally following the tremor.

The quake, initially recorded at a magnitude of 7.2, was at a depth 220 km (136 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. Due to the quake’s depth there was no tsunami threat, said the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The Indonesian geophysics agency recorded at least one aftershock measuring over magnitude four on the Richter scale.

The quake was also felt on Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali, several people said on social media.

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