6.1 magnitude quake rocks East Timor’s capital

Sept 16, 2008

DILI, East Timor (AP) ­ A powerful undersea earthquake rocked East Timor’s capital on Tuesday, sending terrified residents fleeing from homes and buildings, witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.1 quake struck 90 miles (140 kilometers) southeast of Dili.

“Everything was shaking for a few seconds,” said Joao de Araujo, an employee at the United Nations office in the city. “All I could do was run from my office building.”

Women were screaming “Earthquake! Earthquake!” and children were crying, he said. Others started banging on bamboo drums and on metal objects to sound the alarm.

East Timor sits along a series of faultlines and volcanos known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. In December 2004, a massive earthquake off Indonesia’s Sumatra island ­ along the same faultlines ­ triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people.

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