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A handout photo made available by the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows a map with the epicenter of a 7.5-magnitude earthquake near Palu, Indonesia. - EPA
A handout photo made available by the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows a map with the epicenter of a 7.5-magnitude earthquake near Palu, Indonesia. - EPA

JAKARTA: Indonesia was struck by a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake Friday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

The country's national disaster agency briefly issued a tsunami warning before cancelling it.

The strong quake hit central Sulawesi island at a shallow depth of some 10 kilometres (six miles), just hours after a smaller quake killed at least one person in the same part of the country.

The latest quake was a higher magnitude than those that killed hundreds on the island of Lombok earlier this year.

Friday's tremor was centred 78 kilometres north of the city of Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province, but was felt some 900 kilometres south in the island's largest city Makassar.

Lisa Soba Palloan, a resident of Toraja, around 175 kilometres south of Palu, said locals felt several quakes Friday.

"The last one was quite big," she said.

"Everyone was getting out their homes, shouting in fear."

Following the magnitude 7.5 quake, a tsunami warning was issued. The warning was called off moments later.
Following the magnitude 7.5 quake, a tsunami warning was issued. The warning was called off moments later.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth.

The archipelago nation lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and many of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

A series of quakes that struck Lombok this summer killed about 500 people and forced hundreds of thousands into evacuation shelters or tents.

In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 Indonesians.-- AFP

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