The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10km at an area 168km from the city of Ternate, in the Moluccas on July 14. (Photo: SCREENGRAB FROM USGS)

Jakarta (VNA)
- An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 hit the eastern region of Indonesia on July 14, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km at an area 168 km south-southeast of Ternate in North Maluku province, the USGS said.

There are no reports of infrastructure damage yet, said Iksan Subur, an official of Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency based in the regency of South Halmahera, near the earthquake’s epicentre.

But people panicked and ran out of their houses. Some people who live near the ocean are starting to move to higher ground, he added.

Last week, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s eastern North Maluku province, but caused no major damage.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. 

Last September, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island killed more than 2,200 with a thousand more declared missing.

In 2004, a big earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia.-VNA