INDONESIA: UNDERSEA 5.7 EARTHQUAKE HITS OFF COAST OF HOLIDAY HOTSPOT, BALI

BALI (INDONESIA)-- An undersea earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale struck off the north coast of Java, Indonesia on Thursday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The quake, at a depth of 588km, was 125km northeast of Surabaya, Java. The quake was initially measured at 6.0 magnitude.

The 5.7 magnitude quake was detected northeast of Kemeduran, which is northwest of Bali, on Thursday, the US Geological Survey has confirmed. With a magnitude of almost 6, the earthquake is classified as moderate to strong. It was measured at a depth of 588km.

The news comes after tourists in Bali were warned to avoid the area around Mount Agung in the island's north amid fears it could erupt.

Indonesian officials have more than doubled the size of the no-go zone around the Mount Agung volcano and raised its alert level for the second time in less than a week.

The volcano, about 72 kilometres from Kuta, is a popular tourist destination and hiking spot.

Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency said residents and tourists should stay six kilometres from the crater and up to 7.5 kilometres away to the north, southeast and wouthwest.

Locals living near Mount Agung volcano have also been seen evacuating their homes and groups of people were also seen gathering at a lookout point to watch Mount Agung for eruption.

The quake was initially measured at a 6.0 magnitude by the USGS after it struck around 60.8 miles (98km) north-northeast of Kemeduran at midnight on Thursday.

According to local weather services the quake could spark a tsunami on the nearby island of Bali, but this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Although an official tsunami warning has not been issued, locals living near Mount Agung volcano were reportedly seen evacuating their homes.

Officials fear the increased seismic activity could spark the eruption of Mount Agung volcano.

The size of the evacuation zone was widen around the volcano on Monday as the potential eruption alert level was raised to high.

Kasbani, the head of the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said: We see that the earthquake frequency is very high, this is worrying when it comes to eruption.

The areas should be closed, no hiking because the seismic activity will trigger dangerous gas.

The Indonesian city of Surabaya, which is around 78 miles (125km) from where the quake struck, has a population of 2.3million.

No reports of damage or casualties have emerged yet.

It comes after a huge 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Vanuatu, an island nation popular with tourists off the east coast of Australia.

The 6.4 magnitude quake sparked fears of tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) sent the US state a tsunami bulletin in the wake of the quake, which occurred at a considerably depth of 124 miles.

The report to Hawaii said there were no fears of an imminent tsunami, despite the earthquake.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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