JAKARTA, Indonesia — A powerful earthquake hit eastern Indonesia on Wednesday, sending residents fleeing from their buildings in panic. There were power blackouts in some areas but no initial reports of serious damage or casualties.
The quake had a magnitude of 7.0 and was centered 18 miles (29 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor off the northern coast of Papua province, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its website. It was followed by a strong aftershock.Hundreds of people ran out of their homes, said Yan Pieter Yarangga, a resident from the town of Biak. Fearing a tsunami, people fled beaches and some raced for higher ground.