Strong earthquake hits Indonesia; no casualties

May 18, 2014

A strong and shallow undersea earthquake hit parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island on Sunday, causing panic but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.2-magnitude quake hit at a depth of 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) beneath the sea. It was centered 319 kilometers (197 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province.

Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency put a preliminary magnitude at 6.4 and said it had no potential to trigger a tsunami.

The quake was felt across many parts of the province, causing panic among some residents, said Suhardjono, the agency official who like many Indonesians uses only a single name.

He said that the earthquake did not cause major damage and there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The world's largest archipelago, Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and in the Pacific Basin.

In 2004, a monster temblor off Aceh shores triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Most of the deaths were in Aceh.

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