Tsunami warning issued in Indonesia after quake

Indonesia issued a tsunami warning Thursday after a powerful quake rocked an eastern island chain, sending residents fleeing from their homes, authorities and witnesses said.

There were no immediate reports of damage as a result of the magnitude 7 quake, which struck under the Maluku Sea at a depth of 33 kilometers (20 miles), the U.S. geological survey said on its Web site.

The quake's epicenter was more than 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of Ternate city.

Indonesia's geological agency and the Pacific Tsunami Warning center issued tsunami warnings following the quake. National TV stations broke into their programming to relay the alerts.

"We felt a strong tremor for almost a minute, people ran in panic from buildings, said George Rajaloa, a resident in Ternate. "Children are crying and their mothers are screaming, but there is no damage in my area."

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

A massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, killed more than 131,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh province and left half a million homeless. Just over a year ago, another quake-generated tsunami killed around 600 people on Java island.

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