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 Strong quake rattles Indonesian capital

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PostSubject: Strong quake rattles Indonesian capital   Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:45 pm

Strong quake rattles Indonesian capital

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- A strong earthquake rattled the Indonesian island of Java on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets of the capital city, Jakarta.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 6.1 -- lowering it from an earlier magnitude of 6.5. There were no reports of any serious injuries.

The epicenter was located in the Sunda Strait -- the narrow body of water between Java and Sumatra islands, about 115 miles (180 km) southwest of Jakarta, according to the USGS.

The temblor struck shortly before 5 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) and prompted a mass evacuation in downtown Jakarta. There was no sign of any initial damage, CNN producer Andy Saputra said.

A mosque in Banten province, located on the western edge of Java, sustained significant damage, while other buildings including several houses, were slightly damaged, according to Aminuddin, a spokesman for local police. One person was slightly injured, he said. Jakarta office building rattled

It is the latest in the series of temblors that has rattled Indonesia.

The archipelago nation lies on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Since mid-August, Indonesia has suffered seven strong or major quakes, all above 6.0 in magnitude.

The deadliest happened just a few weeks ago when a 7.6-magnitude quake struck Sumatra on September 30, followed by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake a day later. More than 1,000 people are believed to have died after the initial quake destroyed buildings in the city of Padang, the capital of West Sumatra.

Friday's quake did not last long, and was not nearly as powerful as the 7.0-magnitude quake that shook Jakarta on September 2, causing high-rise buildings to sway, according to Reuben Carder, a reporter with Dow Jones.

Office workers on the 19th floor of one building in Jakarta felt the building sway for about 90 seconds, according to CNN iReporter Richard Bera.

"I was just working on my desk and I noticed the curtain next to my desk started swaying," said Bera, who captured video of his 19th floor office during the quake on his cell phone. "This one rocked really big. I got out my camera and shot it ... I went to the other room and yelled 'earthquake.'"

Because the temblor happened so soon after the recent major quakes in Sumatra, some people "freaked out [and] some people started crying and praying."

"We tried to stay really calm," Bera said. "Some people got their stuff and went downstairs, but some like me stayed up here.
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