Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) - An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted Southwest Maluku (MBD) district in Maluku Province at 8:52 East Indonesia Standard Time on Wednesday morning, Ambon Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency spokesman Benny Sipolo said.

Benny noted that the epicenter of the earthquake was located at 7.5 degrees southern latitude and 128.26 degrees eastern longitude, at a depth of 186 km under sea level, or some 209 km northeast of the MBD district town of Wonreli on Kisar Island.

But Yohanes Tahinlaru, a residence of Kisar, said over the telephone that the people there did not feel the temblor because it was located so far offshore.

Sitting at the meeting point of three major plates of the Pacific, Indo Australia, and Eurasia, Maluku Province is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis.

Earlier, on February 22, the city of Tual and Southeast Maluku district were also jolted by an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, but it did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami or cause property damage.

More than 17,000 Indonesian islands are scattered along a belt of volcanic and seismic activity, known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the islands are one of the most quake-prone areas on earth. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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