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Strong earthquake shakes western Indonesia; no tsunami alert

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — A strong undersea earthquake shook western Indonesia Friday night, but no serious damage or casualties were reported.

The magnitude-6.9 quake struck 202 kilometers (126 miles) southwest of Bengkulu at a depth of 25 kilometers (15 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

The earthquake was followed by a magnitude 5.4 aftershock.

No tsunami alert has been issued by Indonesia’s Bureau of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics.

The USGS said there was little chance of serious economic loss or fatalities.

A sprawling archipelago of more than 270 million people, Indonesia is frequently affected by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific basin.

In October, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck Sibolga, a coastal town in North Sumatra province, killing at least one person, injuring 11 and damaging more than a dozen buildings. In February, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province.

A powerful earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

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