6.9 magnitude quake hits off Indonesia

The quake, which was relatively shallow, hit in the Banda Sea, 151 kilometres (94 miles) east-southeast of the coastal city of Ambon at 1021 GMT, according to the US Geological Survey.  

AFP| Last Updated: Dec 09, 2015, 17:47 PM IST

Jakarta: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday sparking panic, officials said, adding that there was no threat of a tsunami and no indication of any damage or casualties.

The quake, which was relatively shallow, hit in the Banda Sea, 151 kilometres (94 miles) east-southeast of the coastal city of Ambon at 1021 GMT, according to the US Geological Survey.

USGS reported the quake hitting at a depth of 33.9 kilometres.

Indonesia`s tsunami warning centre said there was no potential for the quake to trigger a tsunami.

Officials also said there was no damage immediately reported.

"The quake was felt strongly in Ambon and Banda, but until now there is no report of damage or casualties," Jandri Pattinama, an officer at a geophysics station in Ambon, told AFP.

A spokesman for the national disaster management agency said the quake was felt by residents in Ambon and central Maluku for three to five seconds.

"People were panicked and ran outside and stayed on the streets," he said.

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

Last month, a 6.1-magnitude undersea earthquake struck eastern Indonesia that was felt in Saumlaki and prompted some residents to run outside, though the tremor had no tsunami potential, disaster officials said. 

Earlier in November, two powerful quakes struck Sumatra -- an initial 6.1-magnitude undersea tremor followed hours later by a strong 6.4-magnitude quake.