Published October 11, 2012
JAKARTA, Indonesia – A strong earthquake jolted eastern Indonesia on Friday, panicking residents, but no major damage was immediately reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 6.7 and was centered 108 kilometers (67 miles) north of Dobo in Maluku province, at a depth of 24 kilometers (15 miles). It was followed by two aftershocks both measuring magnitude 4.9.
Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency put the preliminary magnitude at 7.0 and said there was no tsunami.
A district government office in Dobo, the closest village to the epicenter, sustained some damage but the extent was unclear, said agency official Subagyo, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.
Dobo resident Victor Siahaya said the strong earthquake shook everything in his house, forcing he and his family to run outside.
"It was so strong ... many people were screaming while running in panic," he said. "But I don't see any damage in my neighborhood."
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in 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 Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.