updated 12/15/2007 5:40:29 AM ET 2007-12-15T10:40:29

A strong earthquake shook eastern Indonesia on Saturday, sending panicked residents running out of their homes.

The tremor struck with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 at a depth of about 60 miles in Maluku province, about 1,700 miles east of the capital, Jakarta, according to the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake at a magnitude 6.3.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries and no tsunami alert was issued, said Suharjono, an agency spokesman who like many Indonesians goes by a single name.

“The TV, chairs, everything in my house fell down, I saw utility poles shaking,” Gulman, a resident of Saumlaki town on the island of Tanimbar, told El-shinta radio.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago with 17,500 islands, is prone to seismic upheavals because of its location on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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