Tremors felt in Australia after 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia’s Banda Sea

Posted at 9:43 PM, Jun 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 05:19:10-04

A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck near to Indonesia’s Tanimbar islands in the Banda Sea Monday, with tremors being felt as far away as northern Australia.

The earthquake hit at a depth of about 208 kilometers (129 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). That’s considered an intermediate depth, meaning the quake was less likely to cause shaking on land than one closer to the Earth’s surface.

Still, residents in the Australian city of Darwin, approximately 720 kilometers away (450 miles), said they could feel shaking due to the seismic activity.

CNN affiliate Nine News Darwin said on Twitter shaking could be felt in its studios for several minutes. Buildings throughout the city were evacuated due to the quake, Nine News reported.

There is no tsunami threat to Australia,the country’s Bureau of Meteorology said.

The quake was one of several quakes and aftershocks in the Indonesian archipelago Monday, with at least nine temblors also rocking the Indonesian side of the island of Papua, according to the USGS.

Earthquakes in this part of the world are a common, if not daily occurrence.

Monday’s temblors all struck in the “Ring of Fire,” one of the world’s most seismically active areas. The USGS says about 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in the region.

The Ring of Fire stretches along a 25,000-mile (40,000-kilometer) arc from the boundary of the Pacific Plate, to smaller plates such as the Philippine Sea plate, to the Cocos and Nazca Plates that line the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

There are some 500,000 detectable earthquakes each year, 100,000 of which can be felt, according to the USGS.

Though earthquakes are not as common in Australia, the continent does experience seismic activity due to tectonic plate movement.