A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Morowali in Central Sulawesi region of Indonesia on Friday triggering a tsunami warning by Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) of the country.

The earthquake struck at 6.40 pm local time (5.10 pm IST) close to the Banggai Islands.

Indonesian media reported that the epicentre of the quake was located 85 kilometres southwest of the islands.

The BMKG advised residents to remain on alert as the first wave that will hit the region might not be the highest.

The warning was, however, lifted by authorities afterwards.

The quake and tsunami warning resulted in a panic situation in Sulawesi’s Palu, a town devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami in September 2018.

Over 4,000 people were killed in Palu last year.

Reports say that local residents rushed out of their homes fearing a repeat of the tragedy that hit them a few months ago.

Indonesia lies on the seismically active Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ and is thus prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and resultant tsunamis.

In December 2018, 430 people were killed in a tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in Sunda Strait. Nearly 22,000 people were displaced.

In the worst-hit area of Pandeglang, in the west coast of Jawa island, 290 were killed, 1,143 injured and 77 missing apart from nearly 17,477 affected, said Sutopo.