July 19, 2006

Earthquake shakes buildings in Jakarta

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Tall buildings swayed as an earthquake struck the Indonesian capital and nearby parts of Java island on Wednesday, sowing fear two days after an undersea quake triggered a tsunami on the southern coast, witnesses said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, but people in several areas fled from office buildings and homes.

The quake's strength was 6.2 at its epicenter in the Indian Ocean off the southwestern tip of Java, Fauzi, an official at the national earthquake center, told Reuters.

A quake of 7.7 magnitude on Monday off the southern Java coast triggered a tsunami that killed at least 550 people.

Asked on Indonesian news radio Elshinta whether the quake on Wednesday could cause a tsunami, Fauzi said: "If there is a tsunami it won't be big."

Indonesia's 17,000 islands sprawl along a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity, part of what is called the "Pacific Ring of Fire," and is prone to frequent earthquakes.