Powerful Quake Rocks Eastern Indonesia
MANADO, Indonesia - A powerful earthquake rocked eastern Indonesia on Thursday, sending residents fleeing from swaying homes and hospitals, authorities and witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake, which had a magnitude of 6.9, triggered a tsunami warning but the alert was quickly lifted after it became clear no destructive waves had been generated, the country's geophysics agency said.
In the city of Manado, people fled from markets, hospitals and schools, witnesses said. One woman ran from the second floor of a hospital carrying her son, who had an IV drip in his arm.
"What's going on? What's going on?" she screamed before being calmed by other people.
The earthquake struck under the Maluku Sea at a depth of 20 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. The quake's epicenter was more than 130 miles north of Ternate island.
"We felt a strong tremor for almost a minute, people ran in panic from buildings," said George Rajaloa, a resident in Ternate. "Children are crying and their mothers are screaming, but there is no damage in my area."
The U.S. Geological Survey initially put the quake at 7.0 magnitude, but later lowered it to 6.9.
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
In December 2004, a massive earthquake struck off Sumatra island and triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, including 160,000 people in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.
Just over a year ago, another quake-generated tsunami killed around 600 people on Java island
When some thing of this nature happens we humans have some strange need to find a cause to explain the effect. According to the religious leaders these quakes are because the Indonesians aren't following Islamic Law to the letter OR it's from a secret weapon of the Americans or Jews or those pesky Australians. Unfortunately that sort of irrational thinking isn't confined to any one particular religion. After the 2004 Tsunami various religious types got in on the blame action. Remember, finger pointing works for everyone!
If you worship an angry god use his wrath to explain whatever unfortune event that befalls you. If you don't have a god, well you can still find something or someone to blame!
The Fox Mulder Wannabees of the West of course blame the US Government, International Bankers, The Smoking Man, Lizard People from the center of the earth and so on.
Oddly neither the regilious or the paranoid never bother to consider science behind what causes these tragic events or the simple fact that Indonesia and the surrounding area has been prone to earth quakes, volcanoes and so forth since the dawn of memory.
But true believers never let such pesky things like science or history spoil their fun.