17 injured as Indonesia hit by powerful earthquake

A powerful earthquake off eastern Indonesia damaged dozens of buildings and sent panicked residents fleeing to higher ground Thursday, some climbing trees to escape a feared tsunami, officials and witnesses said. At least 17 people were injured. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.0-magnitude quake struck at 1:34 a.m. (1734 GMT; 2:34 p.m. Wednesday EST) approximately 195 miles from Manado, the northernmost city on Sulawesi island. It was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor and followed by several aftershocks. The temblor was felt strongest on the nearby island of Talaud. Rustam Pakaya, a government crisis center official, said all the injuries and most of the damage occurred in Melonguane and Kabaruan towns.