Employees of an office building stand outside after evacuating following a strong earthquake in Banten province on Friday. AFP
Indonesian authorities lifted a tsunami warning late on Friday after a powerful earthquake earlier struck off the southern coast of heavily populated Java island.
The 6.9 magnitude quake registered at a depth 52.8 kilometres, some 150 kilometres from Labuan, southwest of the capital Jakarta, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Panicked residents fled their homes as the quake hit, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Images from affected areas showed the walls of buildings cracked by the force of the quake, with bricks and other debris strewn on the ground.
The USGS initially put the quake's magnitude at 6.8 and at a shallower depth before raising its intensity.
Indonesia's disaster agency pegged the quake at magnitude 7.4 and warned it could spark a tsunami as high as three metres. The warning was lifted around three hours later.
Residents stand outside in the street after a strong earthquake hit the area around Jakarta on Friday. AFP
"The early tsunami warning has ended," the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency said in a brief statement.
A volcano-sparked tsunami struck the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra islands, in December, killing over 400 people.
"When the quake hit I immediately ran outside with my family," said Desi Nirmala, 28, who lives in Pandeglang district on the southwest edge of Java, close to the quake's epicentre and a region hit by the late 2018 tsunami.
"We're still traumatised by last year's tsunami."
Residents in Jakarta fled their homes as buildings in the megacity swayed from the force of the quake, which struck at 7:03 pm (1203 GMT).
"The chandelier in my apartment was shaking and I just ran from the 19th floor," 50-year-old Elisa told AFP.
"Everybody else ran too. It was a really strong jolt and I was very scared."
At least five people were killed and thousands were forced from their homes after a major 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the remote Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia last month.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where tectonic plates collide.
Lombok, next to holiday hotspot Bali, was rocked by earthquakes last summer that killed more than 500 and sparked a mass exodus of foreigners from the tropical paradise.
Also 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.
Some panicked residents of a quake-hit Indonesian island have refused to return home after the tremor triggered a brief tsunami warning and fears there was more to come
The massive Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami was triggered by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island. The giant wall of water killed about 230,000 people in a dozen countries as far away as East Africa. Indonesia's Aceh province, which was closest to the earthquake, was hit first and hardest.
Many in the crowd sobbed as they remembered victims of the 7.5 magnitude quake and subsequent deluge that razed swathes of the coastal city on Sulawesi island last September.
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