6.9 magnitude quake hits off Indonesia

JAKARTA (AFP) - A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday (Dec 9), seismologists said, adding that there was no threat of a tsunami.

The quake, which was relatively shallow, hit in the Banda Sea, 151km east-southeast of the coastal city of Ambon at 1021 GMT (6:21pm Singapore time), according to the US Geological Survey.

USGS reported the quake hitting at a depth of 33.9km.

Indonesia's tsunami warning centre said there was no potential for the quake to trigger a tsunami.

Officials also said there was no damage immediately reported.

"The quake was felt strongly in Ambon and Banda, but until now there is no report of damage or casualties," Jandri Pattinama, an officer at a geophysics station in Ambon, told AFP.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity in the region.

Last month, a 6.1-magnitude undersea earthquake struck eastern Indonesia that was felt in Saumlaki and prompted some residents to run outside, though the tremor had no tsunami potential, disaster officials said.

Earlier in November, two powerful quakes struck Sumatra - an initial 6.1-magnitude undersea tremor followed hours later by a strong 6.4-magnitude quake.