Two powerful earthquakes hit eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Two powerful earthquakes hit waters off eastern Indonesia in rapid succession early today, prompting officials to briefly trigger a tsunami warning.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a 7.2-magnitude quake off Papua province, centered just 7 miles beneath the ocean floor, struck less than a minute after a 6.6 temblor in the same location.

The town of Tual on nearby Maluku island was shaken, said Fauzi, chief of the Indonesian meteorological and geophysics agency, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

His agency lifted a tsunami warning 90 minutes after the temblors struck, saying the threat for destructive waves had passed.

The area closest to the epicenter is remote and sparsely populated. Located 1,800 miles east of the capital, Jakarta, it is closer to the northern Australian city of Darwin, which sits about 560 miles to the south.

A giant quake off Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

American Samoa jolted: A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck American Samoa as a memorial service was being held to mark the first anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami that killed 34 people in the U.S. territory. There were no reports of injuries or damage, and the service went on without interruption.

Two powerful earthquakes hit eastern Indonesia 09/29/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:41pm]

    

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