Updated: Sun, 01 Dec 2013 03:25:34 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Strong 6.3 quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

A 6.3-magnitude quake hit off eastern Indonesia and East Timor on Sunday, seismologists said, but there was no tsunami alert or reports of damage or casualties.


Strong 6.3 quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

File image from the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale displayed on a seismograph

The quake struck at 10:24 am local time (0124 GMT), 351 kilometres (217 miles) east-northeast of the East Timor capital Dili at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km, the US Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue any alerts following the tremor in the remote region at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago between the islands of Timor and New Guinea.

In an initial assessment, the USGS said there was a low likelihood of damage or casualties.

Indonesian officials said they had not received any reports of casualties or damage so far.

"From data, the epicentre is quite a distance from the nearest cities and the intensity of shaking is not destructive," Suharjono, the technical head of Indonesia's geophysics and meteorology agency, told AFP.

An AFP correspondent in Dili said no tremor was felt.

Johanes Huwae, a police official in the Maluku provincial capital Ambon, one of the cities closest to the epicentre, said "there was no shaking, everything's safe", while the national disaster management agency reported "slight shaking for three to five seconds" in Southwest Maluku.

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

A 6.1-magnitude quake that struck Aceh province on Sumatra island in July killed at least 35 people and left thousands homeless.

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