Indonesia Earthquake Registers 6.3; No Injuries, Damage Reported

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 10:40 AM

By Michael Mullins

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An Indonesian earthquake rocked the Pacific archipelago nation's eastern region Tuesday night. There have been no reports of serious damage or casualties.

The earthquake, which had a 6.3 magnitude according to the U.S. Geological Survey, was triggered by an underwater seismic shift about 68 miles off Tobelo, a coastal town on Halmahera Island in North Maluku province, the Associated Press reported.

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"We have not received any reports of casualties or damage. I don't think there's going to be any significant impact," the nation's national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Australia Network News.

"The quake is in a really remote area, near a cluster of small islands away from cities or towns, with a very small population," added Amin Bin Tongke, chief search and rescue official for Maluku province.

The underwater earthquake will not result in a tsunami, according to the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.

Underwater earthquakes are known for producing tsunamis, such as the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that reportedly killed more than 230,000 people in 14 countries in the Pacific Southeast.

The world's largest archipelago nation, Indonesia consists of 240 million people and is situated near the Pacific "Ring of Fire" — an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin that makes the area prone to seismic upheavals.

Since 2000, Indonesia has experienced more than 50 sizeable earthquakes, the most recent significant one occurring in July in the province of Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

July's 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed at least 35 people and injured 276 others in addition to damaging some 4,300 homes, the Jakarta Post reported.

The Indonesia earthquake comes just days after Japan suffered a quake along it eastern Honshu coastline, approximately 15 miles from the city of Toba.

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