Powerful quake hits Indonesia

October 25th, 2009 - 12:09 am ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, Oct 24 (DPA) Authorities lifted a tsunami warning after tidal waves did not materialize late Saturday following a powerful earthquake, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, which struck the Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia, seismologists said.
The quake struck at 9:40 pm Jakarta time (1440 GMT) with its epicentre 209-kilometres north-west of Saumlaki in Maluku province.

It occurred about 165 km beneath the seabed, Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said.

The tsunami alert was cancelled about 30 minutes later after no giant waves materialized, seismologists said. There were no immediate reports of structural damage or human casualties.

A report by MetroTV private television stated that residents of Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, and communities in Sorong in West Papua province, had run out their homes in panic. Many of them headed to higher ground for fear of a tsunami.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, sits atop the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

On Sep 30, a powerful 7.6-magnitude quake struck off the western coast of Sumatra, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring hundreds of others.

A major 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck in December 2004 left more than 170,000 people dead or missing in Indonesia’s Aceh province and rendered half a million people

homeless.

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