UPDATE 1 – Strong earthquake strikes off Indonesia’s Java island

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A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 has struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Java island, with shaking felt widely across the capital Jakarta. Only few details were immediately available.

The earthquake, which struck just after 1:34 p.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered in the Indian Ocean about 115 kilometers (78 miles) southwest of Sukabumi, or 155 kilometers (96 miles) southwest of the capital Jakarta.

Indonesia’s seismological agency BMKG put the preliminary magnitude at 6.4, while the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.0. It said it struck at a depth of about 44 kilometers (27 miles), making it a shallow earthquake.

Residents said shaking was felt in cities across the region, including in Jakarta, but there was no immediate word on serious damage or casualties. One resident in Tangerang, about 146 kilometers (90 miles) from the epicenter, said people fled from their buildings during the earthquake.

“I was lying on the floor and suddenly felt the tremor. Everything was shaking for about a minute I think. People got out of houses and children cried,” one resident in South Jakarta told EMSC. Several other people in the area said the earthquake lasted about 15 to 20 seconds.

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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