Moderate earthquake jolts eastern Indonesia

December 21st, 2008 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, Dec 21 (Xinhua) An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Indonesia’s Papua province Sunday morning, the meteorological department said.The quake occurred at 12:44 a.m. with its epicentre located some 180 km northwest from Jayapura, the capital of Papua on the New Guinea island, and at 20 km below sea level.

There was no immediate report of casualty or material damage so far.

The Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Office (BMG) has recorded a total of 32 earthquakes that occurred in Indonesia in November and 26 earthquakes so far this month.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific basin.

A major earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Dec 26, 2004, leaving more than 170,000 people dead or missing in Indonesia’s Aceh province and around 500,000 homeless.

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