7.0-magnitude quake was centered 195 miles from Manado, the northernmost city on Sulawesi island.
A powerful earthquake struck waters off eastern Indonesia early Thursday, briefly triggering fears of a tsunami, the local geological agency said. It was not immediately clear if there were injuries or damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.0-magnitude quake was centered 195 miles from Manado, the northernmost city on Sulawesi island. It said it had a depth of about 20 miles beneath the ocean floor.
The quake was followed by two aftershocks, one measuring magnitude 5.9 and the other 5.6, the USGS said.
One Manado resident, Grace Wakary, said she did not feel anything and there were no visible signs of panic.
The country's local geological agency initially told reporters that the quake had the power to trigger a tsunami, but lifted the alert about an hour later.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that a pacific-wide tsunami that would threaten Hawaii was not expected.
Earthquakes of this size can generate local tsunamis that could be destructive along coasts located within 62 miles of the epicenter.
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
In December 2004, a massive earthquake off the country's western island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that battered much of the Indian Ocean coastline and killed more than 230,000 people — more than half of them in Indonesia's Aceh province alone. A tsunami off Java island in 2007 killed nearly 5,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.