Indonesia quake sparks tsunami fears
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Indonesia quake sparks tsunami fears

A powerful earthquake struck deep under the sea in eastern Indonesia, causing panic and sending residents running out of their homes, officials and witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The earthquake late Saturday night had a magnitude of 7.0, but at a depth of 86 miles (138 kilometers) was too far below the earth’s surface to cause a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The quake came as Indonesia is still recovering from a devastating earthquake last month that killed more than 1,000 people on western Sumatra.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the latest quake — the second strong temblor in two days — was located 225 miles (365 kilometers) southeast of Ambon in the Maluku islands in the Banda Sea.

The shaking was strong and people ran to higher ground fearing a tsunami, said Ian Kotualubun, an official with Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Saumlaki, the area closest to the epicenter, about 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta.

Police in Saumlaki said they had received no reports of damage or injuries.

Indonesia sits above a series of fault lines that make the vast island nation one of the most earthquake-prone places in the world. A massive quake off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, half of the victims on Sumatra island.

Associated Press