Powerful Quake Hits off Western Indonesia; via humanrescueintermedia

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Powerful Quake Hits off Western Indonesia
By FAKHRURRADZIE GADE
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia
go.com

A powerful earthquake hit waters off western Indonesia early Wednesday, prompting officials to issue a tsunami warning. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck 260 miles (420 kilometers) off the coast of Aceh province. It was centered 18 miles (30 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor.

Residents in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, and other cities along the coast poured into the streets after being rattled from their sleep.

But one local police spokesman, Gustav Leo, said there did not appear to be any serious damage.

Arief Akhir, an official with Indonesia’s geological agency, said a tsunami warning had been issued. But more than an hour after the quake, there were no signs of seismically triggered waves.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Aceh.

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Associated Press writers Ali Kotarumalos and Niniek Karmini contributed to this report from Jakarta.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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