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Indonesia Rattled By Massive 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake

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Apr 06, 2013 09:43 AM EDT
Indonesian Building
A building labeled as the office of the governor of Central Papua Province. (Photo : Wikipedia )

A massive earthquake in eastern Indonesia rattled the ground and prompted concerns of landslides in an area with a deadly quake history, but has caused no immediate reports of damage or injuries, according to media reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the 7.0 magnitude quake hitting the mountainous region of Irian Jaya, in the Papua province of eastern Indonesia at a depth of 75 kilometers (47 miles). The quake's depth likely spared the island's communities from major damage.

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The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii reports no tsunami was generated by the quake. The Jakarta Post reported residents running from their houses in panic and many remaining outside, fearing aftershocks.

Several aftershocks as powerful as 5.2 magnitude have occurred, according to Earthquake-Report.com.

Writing on the site's "Did You Feel It?"comment board, one local said there was "three moments of light shaking lasting a total of about one minute." Another person reported the quake was felt by all the people in their office.

Papua province comprises most of the western half of the island of New Guinea. It is the eastern most province of Indonesia and has a population of about 2.8 million, with much of the density around coastal areas. Numerous indigenous communities also live on Papua.

In 1981 the same area was shaken by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that killed 300 people and damaged structures and building across the province by causing huge landslides.

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