Indonesian Meteorological Services measure the earthquake's magnitude at 6.9 but the USGS said it registered at 6.2 in their reading.
The undersea quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 13 kilometres (eight miles) around 211 kms east of Manado on Sulawesi at 10:31 pm (1431 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.
No tsunami warning
was raised by the Pacific Tsunami Center.
"It strongly shook the North Sulawesi provincial town of Manado, said Arif, an agency official who uses a single name. Witnesses said many residents woke up and ran out in panic," washingtonpost.com
No fatalities or damage to properties have been reported so far.
Indonesia is one of the Southeast Asian countries that has frequent earthquakes as it is located in the so called "Ring of Fire", a web of fault lines in the Pacific basin.