Earthquake rocks eastern Indonesia

A powerful undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia's eastern coast on Tuesday, causing residents to flee their swaying homes, the U.S. geological survey and witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of damage or tsunami.

The 6.8-magnitude quake was 93 kilometers (58 miles) west of Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, the survey said on its Web site. It struck 40 kilometers (25 miles) under the Manipa Straits, it said.

Residents in Ambon fled homes and offices when the temblor hit, witnesses said.

"I was suprised, and everyone ran onto the streets because we really felt the shaking," said Daniel Leonard from Ambon, around 3,000 kilometers (1,9000 miles) north east of the capital, Jakarta.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, sits atop a volcanically active region in the Pacific known as the Ring of Fire and is rocked daily by earthquakes of varying magnitudes.

In December 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra Island triggered the Asian tsunami, killing more than 131,000 people in Aceh and leaving tens of thousands more missing, reports the AP.

I.L.