August 8, 2007 / 5:41 PM / 12 years ago

Indonesia's West Java hit by strong earthquake

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake struck a coastal area in Indonesia’s West Java on Thursday, sparking panic in many parts of the densely inhabited island, although there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

An earthquake that hit Indonesia on Wednesday was at magnitude 7.4 and 175.3 miles deep, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. REUTERS/Graphic

The quake was too deep to prompt a tsunami warning, said Robert Cessaro at the United States National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

An official at Indonesia’s Meteorological agency said by telephone that it struck an area on the northern coast of West Java.

“There has been no damage or casualties reported so far,” the official said by telephone, adding that the quake could be felt as far away as Padang in Sumatra and the resort island of Bali.

The quake with a magnitude of 7.4, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, struck just after midnight and could be felt by residents in the capital Jakarta, as well as in the nearby city of Bandung and in the town Yogyakarta in central Java.

The ancient royal city of Yogykarta was devastated by an earthquake that killed more than 5,700 people just over a year ago.

The U.S. agency said on its Web site the quake struck at 1704 GMT and said its epicenter was 110 km (68.4 miles) from Jakarta at a depth of 282.1 km.

Residents in an apartment block in central Jakarta described feeling the tower shake three to four times and then said people rushed out of the building.

The Indonesian Meteorological agency put the quake at 7.0 on the Richter scale and said it struck 75 km northwest of the coastal city of Indramayu at a depth of 286 km.

Indonesia suffers frequent earthquakes, lying on an active seismic belt on part of the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”.

Additional reporting by Adhityani Arga, Mita Valina Liem and the Washington desk

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