Man dies after 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia
A powerful earthquake jolted western Indonesia early on Wednesday, killing a man and sending panicked residents fleeing from homes in towns and villages across Sumatra island’s northern tip. No tsunami was generated and there were no reports of damage.
The magnitude 6.6 quake hit about 7.30am (0030 GMT) and was centred 17 miles northwest of Aceh province’s Sinabang town at a depth of 28 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from the National Disaster Management Agency said a 70-year-old man who was suffering from hypertension died as he fled in panic and fell down, but there were no other casualties reported and no reports of damage.
Suharjono, from Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysic agency, said the earthquake had no potential to generate a tsunami. He said a quake that close to the coast would have to be more powerful to generate a giant wave.
Residents of Sinabang on Simeuleu island, off the west coast of Sumatra and close to the epicentre, said the quake struck as people were gathered for predawn meals and prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan.
“A few seconds strong earthquake shook everything around us,” said Ahmadi, a trader at the town’s market. “Everybody ran out from homes … many screaming in panic, but there was no damage around us.”
The panic extended to several towns and villages in Aceh’s neighbouring province of North Sumatra. Fearing aftershocks, many refused to go back inside for hours.
Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.
A giant quake on Dec 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Aceh.