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10-foot high tsunami could be set off from Indonesia

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JAKARTA: A powerful earthquake struck off the southern coast of Indonesia’s heavily populated island of Java on Friday, with the country’s disaster agency warning that it could set off a tsunami 10 feet high.

The 6.9 magnitude quake struck offshore at a depth 42 kilometres (26 miles), some 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Labuan, southwest of the capital Jakarta, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Indonesia’s disaster agency pegged the quake at magnitude 7.4 and warned it could set off a tsunami.

Residents in Jakarta fled their homes as buildings swayed in the quake at 7:03 pm (1203 GMT). At least two people were killed and thousands were forced from their homes.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

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

On December 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 across the Indian Ocean region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.

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