Quake rocks India's Andaman Islands

AndamanNew Delhi - A magnitude-6.7 earthquake jolted the Andaman Islands off the east coast of India Friday, but no tsunami alert was issued by authorities, officials said.

The undersea quake struck at 5:10 pm (1140 GMT) 113 kilometres west of the state capital Port Blair, said AK Bhatnagar of the Indian Meteorological Department in New Delhi.

"The moderate quake shook the islands, causing panic amongst residents, but there are no reports of any damage or injuries," he said.

The quake were also felt in the southern metropolis of Chennai on the Indian mainland, which lies 1190 kilometres west of the islands, news reports said.

Bhatnagar added that the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services in the southern city of Hyderabad had not issued a tsunami warning.

"There is no rise in sea levels," he said.

Thousands were killed when the islands were hit by the December 2004 tsunami, which was triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra.

Scientists said the undersea zone near Indonesia was seismically active.

"It is an extension of the same Sumatra seismic zone, and undersea quakes of magnitude 5 to 6 are common in that area," Bhatnagar said. (dpa)

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