, PORT BLAIR, June 19- A moderate 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit India\’s Andaman Islands Saturday, seismologists said, causing damage to infrastructure on the archipelago.
The quake shook people from their sleep, causing alarm on a string of islands that were hit by the massive 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but there were no reports of casualties.
The USGS said the quake struck at a depth of 27 kilometres (17 miles), with the epicentre 180 kilometres from Port Blair on the Andaman Islands, in the Indian Ocean.
No tsunami warning was issued.
Government officials said there were no reports of loss of life or injury but many roads, offices and shops have suffered damage.
"There are visible cracks on the roads and eight government buildings have reported damage," said a senior official at the disaster control room in Diglipur island in North Andaman, 342 kilometers (212 miles) from Port Blair
A police control room official in Port Blair said efforts were being made to contact some of the more remote islands.
The 572 Andaman and Nicobar Islands, home to more than 350,000 people, are some of India\’s most easterly territories, flanked by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
The Andaman Sea area witnesses frequent earthquakes caused by the meeting of the Indian tectonic plate with the Burmese microplate along an area known as the Andaman trench.