Friday, January 27, 2006

Indonesian quake

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- A magnitude-7.7 earthquake rocked eastern Indonesia early Saturday, meteorological agencies said. It did not trigger a tsunami, and there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage.
The quake struck at 1:58 a.m. Saturday (1658 GMT Friday) in the Banda Sea, about 195 kilometers (120 miles) south of Ambon city in the Maluku Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. It occurred at a depth of 342 kilometers (212 miles).
Hundreds of people fled their homes in panic in Ambon and in the tiny nation of East Timor, 440 kilometers (270 miles) to the south, according to witnesses and the Internet news portal
There were no immediate reports of injuries, said Amran, an official at Indonesia's meteorological agency, and damage from the two-minute temblor appeared to be limited to cracks in some buildings.
It did not trigger a tsunami, probably because of its depth, said Fauzi, another official at the agency.
Like many Indonesians, the officials only use one name.
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location atop a volcanically active region known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire."
A magnitude-9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami on December 26, 2004, killed more than 131,000 people in Indonesia's western Aceh province on Sumatra island and left a half-million homeless.
Three months later another strong tremor killed more than 900 on Nias and smaller surrounding islands, also in western Indonesia.
Ambon is about 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) east of Jakarta.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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