The strong quake happened off the coast of the North Maluku province at 10.08 p.m. (1508GMT).
The authorities issued tsunami warning immediately after the earthquake.
"The potential for tsunamis to be passed on to the public," the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said on its website.
The BMKG revealed in that the epicenter was at 136 kilometers (84.5 miles) southwest of the Ternate city, at a depth of 10 km (5.3 nautical miles).
On December 26, 2004, a giant sea wave ravaged the mainland of Aceh after an 9.3 magnitude earthquake in the region.
The disaster claimed more than 200,000 lives.