updated 11/22/2008 12:07:44 PM ET 2008-11-22T17:07:44

A powerful earthquake struck waters off western Indonesia on Saturday, but local officials said there was no risk of a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 and hit 100 miles southwest of Bengkulu, a city on Sumatra island. It was centered 16 miles beneath the ocean floor.

Fauzi, an official with Indonesia's geological agency, said the temblor did not trigger a tsunami and there were no immediate reports of damage. Like many Indonesians, he only has one name.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

In December 2004, a massive earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that battered much of the Indian Ocean coastline and killed more than 230,000 people.

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