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Earthquake in western Indonesian triggers panic

world Updated: Nov 25, 2007 09:18 IST

AP
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A strong earthquake struck off western Indonesia early Sunday, causing panicked residents to flee their homes, officials said. It did not trigger a tsunami warning.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 and was centered 28 kilometers (17 miles) from Bengkulu, a coastal town on Sumatra Island, said Suhardjono, an official at the local geophysics agency.

It struck 55 kilometers (34 miles) beneath the ocean floor and was felt strongly for around 30 seconds in the region, causing some people to run from their homes, witnesses told El-Shinta radio.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheavals due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

In December 2004, a massive earthquake struck off Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, including 160,000 people in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

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