Tsunami Alert Issued after Strong Indonesian Quake

By  | 

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Authorities and witnesses say a strong
earthquake in eastern Indonesia has sent panicked residents running

The country's meteorology and seismology agency warned that with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 it was strong enough to cause a tsunami. There were no immediate reports of giant waves.

It struck at 2:43 p.m. EST Saturday, around 85 miles off of Manokwari,
Irian Jaya, at a depth of about 6 miles.

Hasim Rumatiga, a local health official, said electricity went off and residents ran to higher ground.

Indonesia straddles a chain of faultlines and volcanoes known as the Pacific ``Ring of Fire'' and is prone to seismic activity.

A huge quake off western Indonesia caused the 2005 Asian tsunami
that killed around 230,000 people.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)