6.5 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia

Concrete rubble are seen on the floor of a classroom at Al Anshor Islamic Boarding School after an earthquake in Ambon, Maluku province, Indonesia, September 26, 2019, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Weul Artafella via REUTERS

An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 hit the island of Seram in Indonesia’s eastern province of Maluku on Thursday, damaging to some buildings, but there was no risk of a tsunami, the geophysics agency said.

Disaster officials said the early morning quake, initially measured at a magnitude of 6.8, was felt in towns such as Ambon and Kairatu, waking some residents, who said it felt like trucks rumbling past.

A university building was slightly damaged and a bridge cracked in Ambon, about 40 km (25 miles) from the epicentre, said Agus Wibowo, a spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency.

Video posted on social media showed plaster and rubble scattered over floors and chairs in the Al Anshor Islamic boarding school in Ambon, the provincial capital, but a witness said no injuries were reported from the school.

Indonesia, which sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, often experiences deadly earthquakes and tsunamis.

In September 2018, Palu, on the island of Sulawesi west of Maluku, was devastated by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and a powerful tsunami it unleashed, killing more than 4,000 people.

In 2004, a quake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 in 14 countries, more than 120,000 of them in Indonesia.