Two strong earthquakes rock parts of Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Two strong undersea earthquakes rocked parts of eastern and western Indonesia Monday but there were no reports of casualties, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said. 

The first temblor, of magnitude 5.9, came early Monday and was centered beneath the Maluku Sea, nearly 300 kilometers (180 miles) southeast of Bitung, said Musli, and official of the Agency's Jakarta office. 

Bitung is a coastal town in North Sulawesi province, about 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles) northeast of the capital Jakarta. 

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake can cause severe damage if centered in towns. 

The second quake, of 5.5 magnitude, struck the towns of Sibolga and Padang Sidempuan in North Sumatra province later Monday, added Musli, who uses a single name like many Indonesians. 

In November, a massive earthquake of magnitude 7.7 rocked northern Sumatra island injuring at least 48 people, damaging houses and forcing thousands of residents to set up makeshift tents for the night. 

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire.'' - AP 

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