Strong 6.5-magnitude quake hits Indonesia

Jakarta, May 27 (IANS) A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia’s eastern province of Maluku on Friday, but there was no initial report of damage or casualties, disaster officials said.

The country’s meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency did not issue a warning for a tsunami as the jolts did not potentially trigger giant waves, Xinhua news reported.

The quake struck at 9.36 a.m., with the epicentre at 85 km southwest of Maluku Barat Daya district with a depth of 104 km, the agency said.

The tremors were also felt in the nearby province of East Nusa Tenggara and the neighbouring country of Timor Leste.

Senior officials in the quake-hit areas said the tremors triggered panic among residents and were strongly felt in some areas, but there were no initial reports of damages or casualties.

However, they said the risk assessment for the quake impacts was underway.

“So far, there were no houses or buildings destroyed or those wounded. But the personnel of local disaster agency keep conducting assessment of the impact,” one of the officials told Xinhua.

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