The Indonesian geophysics agency warned residents of the island that a tsunami was possible after the powerful quake.
Video footage from Luwuk city showed scared residents - some carrying children - running from their homes and racing to higher ground on motorcycles.
At least 20 aftershocks have been recorded after a 6.8 magnitude quake rattled Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province on Friday afternoon.
While one resident of quake-hit Luwuk city reportedly died after falling while trying to flee, the agency has not reported any confirmed deaths or injuries.
The epicenter of the quake was off the coast of eastern Sulawesi, 175 miles south of the province of Gorontalo and on the other side of the island from disaster-hit city of Palu, where a 7.5-magnitude quake followed by a 20ft tsunami killed more than 4,400 people last September.
Kompas identified the victim as Daeng Pasang, 66.
On boxing day December 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude natural disaster struck westernmost Aceh province, causing a tsunami and killing more than 170,000 in Indonesia.
Residents of Palu, which is hundreds of kilometres away from Friday's epicentre, still felt the quake.
Indonesia suffered its highest death toll in natural disasters in more than a decade a year ago, following two major tsunamis and several earthquakes, with more than 3,000 killed in Palu, also in Central Sulawesi, the site of Friday's quake.
The force of last year's quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction - a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.
"There's a little bit of damage, but nothing significant and there are no casualties", he said.
Indonesia is highly susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis as it lies in the highly seismic Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. More than 2,000 people were killed.