JAKARTA - A strong earthquake struck off Indonesia's Tanimbar Islands in the east of the country on Saturday, but there was no tsunami alert issued and no reports of immediate damage, the country's meteorology agency said.

The U.S. Geological Survey pegged the quake at magnitude 6.0 and its epicentre was 270 km (168 miles) north northwest of Saumlaki in the Tanimbar islands at a depth of 56 km (35 miles).

USGS had initially put the magnitude at 6.2.

The quake was only felt in Tual island, off the Moluccas islands but we haven't received any report of damage, an official at Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics earthquake centre said.

A receptionist at a hotel in Tual island said the quake caused some panic.

Some guests ran out of the hotel after the quake but there was no damage to the hotel, said a member of staff at the Suita hotel, who declined to be named.

Indonesia suffers frequent earthquakes sitting in an area of intense seismic activity where several tectonic plates meet.

Ceremonies took place in Indonesia on Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami that struck after a huge earthquake off Sumatra island in 2004.

The tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, with 166,000 killed or missing in the Indonesian province of Aceh.

(Reporting by Fitri Wulandari and Supriyatin; Editing by Ed Davies)