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Powerful 7.5 earthquake hits Indonesia

August 7, 2007
Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A powerful earthquake under the Java Sea shook Indonesia's capital early Thursday, violently shaking tall buildings and panicking residents.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, which struck at 12:04 a.m. (1:04 p.m. EDT Wednesday) had a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 and was centered about 66 miles east of Jakarta at a depth of 180 miles.

Residents said tall buildings and single story homes shook violently in the city of 9 million people.

El-Shinta radio reported that the quake could be felt from Sumatra island in the west to Bali to the east, but that there were no immediate reports of damage.

Because of the earthquake's depth, there was little risk of a tsunami, said Robert Cessaro, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

None of the instruments closest to the earthquake indicated that a tsunami was triggered, Cessaro said, although he added that there were no instruments "very close" to the quake's epicenter.

The depth of the earthquake "suggests there will be no tsunami," he said.

The Dec. 26, 2004, earthquake that triggered the tsunami off the coast of Sumatra and killed more than 131,000 in Indonesia's Ache province was just 18 miles in depth, according to the USGS.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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