Powerful 6.5-magnitude quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA - A powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck off eastern Indonesia on Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake struck in waters near the Barat Daya islands in Maluku province, 411km east of Atambua and 425km south of Ambon. It was at a depth of 132km.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said some people in south-west parts of Maluku province felt strong shaking for about 10 seconds and ran out of their homes.

But Mr Suharjono, an official from the meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency, added: "We have not received any reports of casualties or damage. I don't think there's going to be any significant impact."

Mr Amin Bin Tongke, chief search and rescue official for Maluku province, said: "The quake is in a really remote area, near a cluster of small islands away from cities or towns, with a very small population."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre did not issue an alert.

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