Quake hits off Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesia lowered the magnitude of an earthquake which struck off eastern Sumatra island on Tuesday from 6.5 to 4.4, a seismologist said, adding that there were no immediate reports of damage.

"The magnitude of the quake was 4.4, not 6.5 as earlier announced," the country's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency technical chief Suharjono told AFP.

"There were two very small quakes taking place at the same time which affected the data that came in through our system. That resulted in an erroneous reading," he added.

The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres (6 miles), 547 kilometres south-west of Bintuhan in Bengkulu at 14:36 pm (0734 GMT), according to an alert sent via text message.

There were no reports of damage or tsunami warnings issued, Suharjono said.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where the meeting of continental plates causes high seismic activity, and Sumatra is particularly prone to earthquakes.