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Strong Quake Rattles Northern Indonesia

A strong earthquake destroyed houses and other buildings in northern Indonesia Wednesday, the Antara news agency reported. There were no reports of deaths or injuries.
( [email protected] ) Nov 29, 2006 08:48 AM EST

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A strong earthquake destroyed houses and other buildings in northern Indonesia Wednesday, the Antara news agency reported. There were no reports of deaths or injuries.

The 6.1-magnitude temblor struck at 10:32 a.m. north of the Maluku islands, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was centered 45 miles beneath the sea and 134 miles northeast of Ternate, the capital of North Maluku province.

Around 10 houses, a mosque and a school building were destroyed in Hapo village on Morotai island, the Antara report said, without giving further details.

"So far, reports received from Hapo village said the houses were ruined," said Helmy Agus Riadi, an official at the regional Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. "But there was no word of casualties."

There were no reports of a tsunami one hour after the quake struck.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

A magnitude-9 earthquake off of Sumatra island triggered the 2004 tsunami that killed at least 213,000 people in 11 countries — more than 131,000 of those in Indonesia alone.