6-magnitude earthquake strikes off East Timor

Other News Materials 14 September 2008 06:57 (UTC +04:00)

An undersea earthquake registering 6.0 on the Richter scale struck Sunday morning off East Timor, but there were no reports of injury or damage, Indonesian seismological officials said.

The quake struck at 7 am Sunday Jakarta time (0000 GMT), about 159 kilometres south-east of Dili, the capital of East Timor, according to the National Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.

The event was centred only 10 kilometres beneath the seabed but did not trigger a tsunami, the agency said.

The tiny country of East Timor, a former Indonesian province for nearly 25 years, gained independence in 2002.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, sits atop the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck Thursday in the eastern Indonesian islands of Maluku province, after a 7.6-magnitude quake struck islands on North Maluku earlier Thursday. The two quakes caused no injuries or damage.

A major 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck in December 2004, leaving more than 170,000 people dead or missing in Indonesia's Aceh province and half a million people homeless, dpa reported.