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Indonesia: Tsunami warning lifted after strong quake

Written by: Staff
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Jakarta, May 24: An undersea earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale jolted central Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara island chain today, prompting a brief tsunami warning, the meteorological agency said.

The quake struck near Sumbawa island at a depth of 19 km but there were no immediate reports of casualties, Fauzi, head of seismology at the meteorological and geophysics agency, told Reuters.

''We issued a tsunami warning because the quake was 6.5. We feel it has tsunami potential since the depth was only 19 km in the sea,'' Fauzi said.

The agency recalled the warning a short time later.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake was of magnitude 5.5 and at a depth of 50.4 km.

Thailand's Disaster Warning Centre said the quake measured 5.6 there and no tsunami warning had been issued, while Malaysia's seismology agency reported much the same.

Earthquakes are frequent in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country. Its 17,000 islands sprawl along a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity, part of what is called the ''Pacific Ring of Fire''.

A devastating Insian Ocean tsunami triggered by a giant undersea earthquake off Indonesia's Aceh province in December 2004 left hundreds of thousands dead or homeless across the region.

Reuters

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