March 31, 2006

Quake Hits Eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck off the eastern Indonesian island of Talaud early on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, an Indonesian official said.

The quake's epicenter was in the sea 42 km (26 miles) west of Talaud and at a depth of 33 km, staff official Lukito of the Jakarta earthquake center told Reuters.

Talaud is between Sulawesi, one of Indonesia's major islands, and Mindanao in the Philippines, and lies around 2,250 km northeast of Jakarta.

"We have confirmed the situation with the police officer at Talaud and he said there were no reports of damage and casualties," Lukito said.

An official at the earthquake office in Sulawesi's Manado, the nearest major city, also said there were no reports of victims or damage so far.

Indonesia's vast archipelago runs along part of an area of intense volcanic and earthquake activity known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire."