Saturday, April 21, 2012

Powerful 6.6 quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

The Star reported that a powerful earthquake hit waters off eastern Indonesia early this morning sending residents and schoolchildren running into the streets in panic. Authorities said the temblor did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami and there were no reports of serious damage or injuries.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.6 quake hit 50 miles (83 kilometres) off Papua province. It was centered just 18 miles (30 kilometres) beneath the ocean floor.

Indonesia, straddling a series of fault lines and volcanoes, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire."

A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

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