Earthquake 16 May 2006

Quake rocks western Indonesia, no casualties

16 May 2006 17:23:36 GMT     Source:

(Reuters) - An undersea earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale rocked
Indonesia's remote Nias island on Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports
of casualties or damage, the Bureau of Meteorology and Geophysics said.

The epicentre of the quake lay in the Indian Ocean at a depth of 33 km (21 miles), about 110 km southwest of Teluk Dalam town, said agency official Agung Sunaryadi.

"There is no
tsunami report. A quake like this can cause land cracks, but we have no reports
of damage from there," he said.

Earthquakes are
frequent in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country. Its 17,000
islands sprawl along a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity, part of
what is called the "Pacific Ring of Fire".

The US Geological
Survey said the magnitude 6.8 quake struck at 1528 GMT. It said there was no
risk of a major tsunami.

The Pacific Tsunami
Warning Center said the earthquake was not expected to trigger a major tsunami,
but could result in a smaller one within 100 km (60 miles) of the epicentre.

In March, 2005, a
powerful earthquake devastated Nias island, killing some 1,000 people and
leaving tens of thousands homeless.

That quake came just
three months after a powerful undersea quake off the northern tip of Sumatra
caused a devastating tsunami and brought widespread destruction in December

(Additional reporting
by Stuart Grudgings in Washington)