Strong quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

Jakarta:  A powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck off eastern Indonesia Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said, sending people running from their homes in panic but causing no damage or casualties.

No tsunami warning was issued after the quake struck in waters near the remote Barat Daya islands in Maluku province at 8:52 pm (1152 GMT) at a depth of 132 kilometres, the USGS said.

It was 411 kilometres (254 miles) east of Atambua and 425 kilometres south of Ambon.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said some people in southwest parts of Maluku province felt strong shaking for about 10 seconds and ran out of their homes.

But Suharjono, an official from the meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency, added: "We have not received any reports of casualties or damage. I don't think there's going to be any significant impact."

And Amin Bin Tongke, chief search and rescue official for Maluku province, said: "The quake is in a really remote area, near a cluster of small islands away from cities or towns, with a very small population."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
Story First Published: September 01, 2013 20:02 IST

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