Powerful Quake Hits Off East Timor; No Damage

By GUIDO GOULART | August 31, 2011

A powerful earthquake hit waters off East Timor on Tuesday, but officials said it was too deep to trigger a tsunami. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.8-magnitude quake struck 171 miles (276 kilometers) from the capital, Dili, and was centered 300 miles (465 kilometers) beneath the Banda Sea.

That was too deep to generate destructive waves, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in an e-mailed statement.

Most residents living in Dili said they didn’t feel the quake.

“We weren’t even aware,” said Santina Araujo, a mother of two who attending a church gathering with other housewives. “Everything is normal here, no panic or anything.”

East Timor is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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