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Strong earthquake hits eastern Indonesia

Reuters Photo

At least three people were killed and three others injured when a strong earthquake jolted the Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia on Thursday, said an official.

The injured are being treated in local hospital and community health centers, said Agus Wibowo, spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Agency.

Many residents fled to the homes of their closest relatives, said Wibowo.

He said the earthquake damaged a number of vital public facilities such as bridges and main roads leading to the port and campus buildings at several universities.

The quake also damaged some churches and mosques around the city, he said.

The temblor with a magnitude of 6.8 struck off Indonesia's Maluku province at 6.48 a.m. (1148GMT Wednesday).

It was centered 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Maluku and 10 km (6 miles) below the earth's surface, said the country's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

An aftershock came later, at 07.39 a.m. (1239GMT), with a magnitude of 5.6.

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