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Powerful earthquake hits Indonesia

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Pikiran Rakyat Daily/AP

(Read caption) People stand outside a house damaged by an earthquake in the town of Garut, West Java, Indonesia, on Wednesday.

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A powerful earthquake struck the main Indonesian island of Java around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, causing buildings in the capital to sway for several minutes and forcing residents of the sprawling metropolis to flee into the streets.

Initial reports said the earthquake registered 7.3 on the Richter scale, although the United States Geological Survey later revised the number to 7.0. At least 13 fatilities have been reported, and buildings and houses in several villages of West Java were said to have collapsed.

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Indonesia’s TempoInteraktif news agency provided these details of today’s quake:

Sitting atop a series of active fault lines, Indonesia’s archipelago is no stranger to earthquakes: An underwater earthquake of a 6.7 magnitude struck Western Indonesia just two weeks ago. In total, there have been 29 quakes of a 6.3 magnitude or higher since the earthquake of December 2004 that set off a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean region, as the New York Times notes.

Tsunami warnings for Wednesday’s earthquake have been called off, MSN Indonesia reports: