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Thursday, 3 March, 2005

Indonesia, Australia rocked by powerful earthquake

A strong undersea earthquake measuring up to 7.5 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia and northern Australia but there were no reports of casualties or damage, officials said. They said the quake, centred in the Banda Sea, was unlikely to cause a tsunami like the one which devastated westernmost Aceh province in December.

"It is highly unlikely the quake could trigger a tsunami since its focus is located too deep under the sea. We have not received any reports of tsunami over the last two hours," said Suyanto of the meteorology and geophysics office in Jakarta.

An official of the Japanese meteorological agency added: "No tsunami can be expected of an earthquake which occurs 100 kilometers (62 miles) or more below."

The quake occurred at 5:42 pm (1042 GMT) with its epicenter in the Banda Sea about 320 kilometers southwest of the town of Tual on Kai Kecil island in the Malukus, formerly known as the "Spice Islands", officials said.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News
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