Powerful earthquake jolts E Indonesia, no casualties reported

A magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck off Indonesia’s eastern province of North Maluku on Friday morning, but did not cause casualties or damages, authorities said.

The earthquake occurred at 3:02 a.m. local time Friday (2002 GMT Thursday) with its epicenter located 133 kilometers northwest of Morotai Island district and a depth of 112 km under the seabed, and did not trigger a tsunami, the country’s meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency said.

The tremors of the earthquake were also felt in the nearby province of North Sulawesi, according to the agency.

So far, the tremors of the quake did not cause damage to buildings or infrastructure facilities, said Abdul Muhari, spokesman of the National Disaster Management and Mitigation Agency.

“There are no initial reports of damages or casualties after the earthquake,” the spokesman told Xinhua via phone.

“The residents in the Morotai Island district felt the tremors, but they were not [panicked],” according to Yusri A Kasim, head of the emergency unit of the disaster agency in North Maluku province.

Indonesia sits on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire.”

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