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Powerful undersea earthquake shakes southern Indonesia; no tsunami warning issued

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — A powerful undersea earthquake shook parts of southern Indonesia on Friday, but no major damage or tsunami were expected because of its depth.

The U.S. Geological Service said the quake had a magnitude of 7.0 and hit the Flores Sea about 132 kilometers (82 miles) north of the town of Nebe. It said it was centered far under the Earth's surface at a depth of 547 kilometers (342 miles).

Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said there was no threat of a tsunami. Residents of Nebe and of Maumere, 152 kilometers (94 miles) from the epicenter, reported no damage and said they felt no shaking.

Shallower quakes generally cause more shaking of the Earth's surface and greater damage.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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