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Quake rattles western Indonesia

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:19 AM EST, Wed January 11, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Indonesian authorities lift tsunami warning
  • Witnesses report only minor shaking on land
  • The magnitude 7.3 quake was centered more than 250 miles off Sumatra

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck early Wednesday off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the U.S. Geological Survey reported, but witnesses reported only minor shaking on land.

The quake was centered in the northern Indian Ocean, more than 400 km (250 miles) off northern Sumatra and more than 29 km (18 miles) beneath the surface. Indonesian authorities initially issued a tsunami warning for the area, before lifting it a couple of hours after the first quake struck.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a massive wave like the one that devastated the region in 2004.

The quake hit at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday (1:37 p.m. Tuesday ET), according to the USGS. There were no immediate reports of damage, and hotel clerks contacted by CNN reported only mild shaking. One front desk clerk in Aceh said a few hotel guests went outside when the quake hit, but most weren't awakened.

The region is highly active seismically, and a magnitude 9.1 quake in December 2004 generated a tsunami that killed people as far away as eastern Africa. The death toll from the combined disaster topped 280,000 in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

CNN's Kathy Quiano contributed to this report.

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