Powerful quake strikes off central Indonesia

December 12th, 2008 - 6:12 am ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, Dec 12 (DPA) A powerful earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale struck off Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province Friday morning, seismologists said.The quake’s epicentre lay about 101 km southeast of Gorontalo in northern Sulawesi at about 4:40 a.m., and occurred about 95 km beneath the seabed, the National Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said.

Officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in the second strong earthquake to jolt the northern Sulawesi and neighbouring regions in less than a month.

On Nov 16, a powerful 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake rocked Gorontalo and nearby areas on North Sulawesi province, killing at least four people, injuring more than 150 others and damaging hundreds of homes.

Another three earthquakes struck three different locations in Indonesia in the last six-hours, including a 6.0-magnitude quake that jolted Mentawai islands off the western coast of Sumatra at midnight Thursday, seismologists said.

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

A major earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck on 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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