Strong quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:51 PM
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JAKARTA, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A 7.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in the Banda Sea off eastern Indonesia early Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but no tsunami alert was issued.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The quake at a depth of 99 miles struck at 1:53 a.m. local time Tuesday, 141 miles northwest of Saumlaki in Indonesia's Tanimbar Islands and 322 miles east-northeast of Dili, Timor-Leste, the USGS said.

The report blamed the quake on strike-slip faulting at intermediate depths of 105 miles near the complex plate boundary between the Australia and the eastern Banda Sea. It said such quakes are common to eastern Indonesia and the islands of the Banda Sea, where they can reach depths of more than 310 miles.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Tuesday's earthquake was too deep inside the Earth to generate a tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

The Australian reported the quake, however, was felt more than 370 miles away in Darwin, Australia, where windows and doors were rattled waking up residents.

"It has been felt over several hundred kilometers of Australia's coastline," Geoscience Australia seismologist Mark Leonard told the newspaper.

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