Powerful earthquake in eastern Indonesia crumples homes

A powerful earthquake jolted eastern Indonesia on Monday, killing at least one person, crumpling homes and briefly triggering a region-wide tsunami warning, officials said as they surveyed the damage. The 7.5-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Sulawesi island in the middle of the night, sending thousands fleeing homes, hotels and even hospitals. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck 54 miles (135 kilometers) from the nearest city of Gorantalo. It was centered 13 miles (21 kilometers) beneath the sea and was followed by two strong aftershocks. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned that the temblor had the potential to generate a destructive tsunami along coasts within 600 miles (1,000 kilometers). Even after local officials lifted the alert, frightened Sulawesi residents refused to go back indoors.