The quake shook buildings in Antigua, Martinique, Dominica and Saint Lucia. Some reports were suggesting a tsunami-like wave could be heading for Barbados.
The deep seismic shift of the tectonic plates of the notorious Ring of Fire send massive shock waves across both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
The first quake — a major 7.7 magnitude shock – hit Indonesia triggering a destructive 2m tsunami smashed down buildings and left at least one dead in the towns of Palu and Donggala.
But minutes later a sister earthquake hit the Caribbean island of Martinique and offshore.
The United States Geological Survey said the epicentre was the town of Sainte-Marie and registered a depth of 37.7 kilometers.
So far there has not been a tsunami warning.
The USGS tweeted: «No tsunami generated by this earthquake in the Martinique area.»
However, earlier the earthquake monitoring service covering Indonesia had also suggested there would not be a tsunami – just minutes before the towns were submerged by a wall of water.
Authorities received information that Palu had been hit amid a rapid series of aftershocks.
Dwikorita Karnawati, who heads Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency, BMKG, said: «The 1.5- to two-metre tsunami has receded.
«It ended. The situation is chaotic, people are running on the streets and buildings collapsed. There is a ship washed ashore.»
BMKG had earlier issued a tsunami warning, but lifted it within the hour.
There has been no word on casualties, officials said.
Officials asked people in affected area to remain on the alert as a number of moderate aftershocks hit the area, and warned of more damage.
Shocking footage shown by local TV stations, which could not immediately be confirmed, showed huge waters crashing into houses along Palu’s shoreline.
Both Martinique and Indonesia are on the notorious Ring of Fire – an area of massive tectonic activity edging the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.
The 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes — more than 75 percent of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes.