Moderate earthquake jolts eastern Indonesian islands, no injuries
An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale jolted the eastern Indonesian islands of Maluku on Tuesday, but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The quake struck at 4:37 a.m., according to a report from the US Geological Survey's website. The epicentre was 35 kilometres under the Banda Sea, about 395 kilometres southeast of Ambon, the capital city of the MalukuIslands. The islands lie some 2,220 kilometres northeast of Jakarta. The quake was the latest tremblor to jolt Indonesia, located in the Pacific Ocean volcanic belt known as the "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcano eruptions are commonplace. A strong quake, measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, shook Manado and nearby regions last week, killing at least two and prompting panicky residents to run out of their homes and from buildings. A number of aftershocks from the quake continued to rattle the province. The strongest, with a magnitude of 6.0, struck around 3:50 a.m. Monday. In December 2004, a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that struck nine Asian and African countries, killing around 177,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh province alone.