Quake hits eastern Indonesia island, communications down

by Reuters
Friday, 12 February 2016 16:43 GMT

In this 2012 file photo, Sumbanese wooden houses are seen standing in a remote Kodi Pangedo village in the Indonesian West Sumba province. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad

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By Bernadette Christina Munthe

JAKARTA, Feb 12 (Reuters) - A strong earthquake near an eastern Indonesian island knocked out telephone and radio communications on Friday, leaving it unclear whether anyone was injured, a government official said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a 6.5 magnitude earthquake at a depth of 30 kilometers was reported about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from Andekantor, a town on Sumba island in East Nusa Tenggara province.

"The disaster agency has not been able to communicate with parties in the area," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement. "Telephone, cell phone, and radio communication is still down."

He added that an earthquake of that magnitude "could damage many buildings" but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. Nor was a tsunami warning issued.

(Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe and Kanupriya Kapoor)

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