Strong earthquake strikes off Indonesia's Bali island

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A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 has struck off the Indonesian resort island of Bali, with shaking felt across the region, local residents say. No tsunami alerts have been issued.

The earthquake, which struck at 7:10 a.m. local time on Wednesday, was centered about 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of Denpasar, the capital city and main hub of the Indonesian province of Bali, located on the island’s south.

Indonesia’s seismological agency BMKG initially put the preliminary magnitude at 6.4 but later downgraded it to 5.6. It said the earthquake struck at a depth of 125 kilometers (77 miles), making it a fairly deep earthquake.

There was no immediate word about damage or casualties, but reports from residents indicated that the earthquake was widely felt across the region. Shaking was felt in Denpasar, Mataram, Banyuqangi, Genteng, and other cities.

“That was big,” one resident on Bali told EMSC, while a second resident said the tremors lasted for about half a minute. “Woke us up. Bed shaking, windows rattling. Was stronger than normal, probably shook for about 60 seconds,” a third resident said.

There is no threat of a tsunami.

Indonesia is on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes.

In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 tremor, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, struck off the west coast of Sumatra, unleashing a massive tsunami that struck scores of countries in the region and killed at least 227,898 people.

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