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Over 10,000 take shelters after quake in Indonesia
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Nearly 10,000 people have been displaced after a strong earthquake rocked Sulawesi Island in the eastern part of Indonesia, Health Ministry said Tuesday.

The shallow quake with magnitude 7.5 struck after midnight on Monday with epicenter at 138 km northwest of Gorontalo city and at 10 km in depth, meteorology agency said.

The agency issued warning of tsunami but then lifted it. The quake was then followed by two moderate aftershocks of 6.0 and 5.7 magnitudes, the agency said.

"The number of refugees has climbed to 9,964," head of the crisis center of Health Ministry Rustam Pakaya told Xinhua.

Over 158 people were injured and more than 1,000 buildings, including schools and a bridge, were damaged in two provinces in the island, he said.

All relief aids were under control, according to Pakaya.

Indonesia has just launched a faster high-tech tsunami warning system with a cost of over 130 million U.S. dollars to prevent the repetition of the tragedy in December 2004, when over 170,000 people were killed in Aceh, Indonesia by the tsunami.

Indonesia sits at a vulnerable zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire" where two continental plates, stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia, meet causing frequent volcanic movements.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2008)

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