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Strong quake hits off eastern Indonesia, East Timor; damage, casualties likely

Published on Feb 4, 2014 8:49 AM

JAKARTA (AFP) - A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit eastern Indonesia but there was no tsunami alert, seismologists said.

The quake struck at 7.36 am local time (5.36am Singapore time), 318km east-northeast of the East Timor capital Dili in the Banda Sea at a depth of 18km kilometres, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre did not issue any alerts following the tremor in the remote region at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago between East Timor and the Maluku islands. In an initial assessment, the USGS said there was a low likelihood of damage or casualties.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. A 6.1-magnitude quake struck Indonesia's main island of Java last month, damaging dozens of buildings.

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