Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) - An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook Ambon city in the eastern Indonesian province of Maluku on Friday evening, prompting local residents to rush outdoors.

The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 04.15 p.m. local time, was located at 3.72 degrees southern latitude and 127.48 degrees eastern longitude or 88 kilometer northeast of the South Buru district at a depth of 10 kilometer, the chief of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG)s office in Ambon, George Mahubessy said.

"The quake was felt in Ambon city at 2-3 MMI and did not have the potential to cause a tsunami," he added.

An earthquake will cause a tsunami if it had a magnitude of more than 6 on the Richter scale, he noted.

"I would have asked the residents to save themselves if the earthquake had the potential to cause a tsunami," he said.

Fridays earthquake occurred as employees of state agencies were about to return home. Journalists, who worked in the press room of the Maluku governors office, also rushed outdoors without taking anything.

"It was important to save ourselves first. It didnt matter that we left our personal items in the office. If the building had collapsed, our safety would have been on the line," Ambon-based DMS radio reporter Vanno Lilinger said.

There was no immediate report of casualties.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

Maluku province lies at the meeting point of the countrys two main chains of volcanoes.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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