Earthquake stirs panic in Indonesia

Saturday, February 19, 2005 A 6.5 magnitude earthquake has hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The tremor, lasting about 2 minutes, sparked panic in numerous seaside communities on the island. According to officials, no injuries have been reported but sea water levels have risen up to four meters in areas.

Though precise details of the earthquake are still unclear, the US Geological Survey has said the tremor just after 0800 local time (0000 UCT) was 10km (6 mi) beneath the sea bed. Local meteorological officials have reported to the Associated Press news agency the earthquake had been 37km (23 mi) under the Sea of Flores.