Powerful quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2012 7:38 AM
Powerful quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

A powerful earthquake hit waters off eastern Indonesia on Saturday, sending residents and school children running into the streets in panic.

There were no reports of injuries or serious damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

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

Children in the city of Manokwari, closest to the epicenter, ran from their schools screaming. Streets also filled with those escaping shaking houses and stores.

"I ran out of my house with my kids as soon as I felt the tremors," said Pinta Uli, a mother of two, adding that they saw one street lamp topple to the ground.

The wall in front of a government office also collapsed.

Suharjono, an official with the country's meteorology and geophysics agency, said no tsunami warning was issued and there were no reports of injuries or serious damage.

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.

(This version CORRECTS Manokwan to Manokwari in 4th line. )