Earthquake hits near northern coast Indonesia

Updated Sat. Jan. 3 2009 4:17 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake has struck near the northern coast of Indonesia’s largest province, but the tremor did not appear to cause a tsunami.

The quake hit about 150 kilometers northwest of Manokwari, a community in the Indonesian province of Papua, at 4:43 a.m. local time.

Startled residents in the area ran for higher ground, hoping to escape any possible tsunami. Local reports suggest that homes in the town of Sorong, located near the epicentre, were slightly damaged.

Indonesia is still recovering from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that caused widespread devastation and killed 240,000 people, many of them on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The area was hit by another strong earthquake late last November with a magnitude of about 6.8, but it did not trigger a tsunami.

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