DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — A moderately strong earthquake and two aftershocks hit Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Tuesday, causing panic but no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 4.9 quake was centered 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Amlapura, a city in Bali’s Karangasem district. Its shallow depth of 9.6 kilometers (6 miles) may have caused people to run outside.
Many residents and tourists rushed out of their homes and hotels toward higher ground, but the situation returned to normal after they received text messages saying the quake had no potential to trigger a tsunami.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines that arcs the Pacific.
An earthquake of a similar magnitude in the hilly Karangasem last year triggered landslides and cut off at least three villages, killing at least three people.
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 21 killed at least 331 people and injured nearly 600 in West Java’s Cianjur city. It was the deadliest in Indonesia since a 2018 quake and tsunami in Sulawesi killed about 4,340 people.
In 2004, an extremely powerful Indian Ocean quake set off a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province.