Strong quake shakes Indonesia’s Sumatra; no major damage

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A strong earthquake struck Sunday off the coast of southern Sumatra in Indonesia, causing panicked residents to run from their homes but no major damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake Sunday morning had a magnitude of 6.4 and occurred at a depth of 35 kilometers (21 miles).

It was centered 74 kilometers (46 miles) west of the coastal city of Bengkulu and also felt in Singapore, about 590 kilometers (370 miles) from the epicenter. It did not generate a tsunami.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the quake was felt for about 10 seconds in coastal cities and was strong enough to shake belongings from shelves and topple furniture.

Residents ran from their homes and there were power outages in some areas but no reports of casualties or structural damage to buildings, Nugroho said.

“The intensity of the earthquake felt mild to moderate,” he said.

Singapore broadcaster Channel NewsAsia said it received calls from residents in the city state who felt tremors.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, is prone to the seismic upheaval and tsunamis due to its location on major geological faults known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

In 2004, an extremely powerful Indian Ocean quake set off a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province in northern Sumatra.

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