The undersea quake struck at a depth of 46 kilometres (28 miles) at 10:31 am (0231 GMT), 154 kilometres northwest of Kota Ternate, the USGS said.
“Tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 kilometres,” said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
The centre said tsunami waves could hit parts of Indonesia, as well the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and islands in the South Pacific.
“We have issued an early tsunami warning,” an official from Indonesia’s meteorological agency told AFP. -AFP