Strong earthquake rocks Indonesia

October 23, 2009 6:48:24 AM PDT
A strong earthquake shook eastern Indonesia's remote Papua province Friday, sending panicked residents fleeing outdoors and reportedly toppling a building. There were no immediate reports of injuries in the eastern province.

Friday's quake came as Indonesia is still recovering from another, more powerful earthquake on western Sumatra that killed more than 1,000 people last month.

The latest 5.8-magnitude quake was centered very near to the capital of West Papua province, Manokwari, and had a depth of about 22 miles (35 kilometers), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It struck at about 8:15 p.m. local time (1115GMT). The epicenter was about 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) east of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Many of Manokwari's 130,000 residents ran out of their homes and were too frightened to go back inside, witnesses said.

Local MetroTV channel said the temblor brought down a building. Officials could not immediately be reached to confirm the report and there were no other details.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that make the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity. A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's Aceh.

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