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Powerful Quake Hits Indonesia's Aceh

A powerful quake with a magnitude of at least 7.2 hit the Indonesian province of Aceh on Sunday  in an area devastated by the killer waves of the 2004 tsunami.  The quake struck at 12:59
PTI May 09, 2010 15:58 IST
PTI


A powerful quake with a magnitude of at least 7.2 hit the Indonesian province of Aceh on Sunday  in an area devastated by the killer waves of the 2004 tsunami.

 The quake struck at 12:59 pm (1129 IST) 66 kilometres southwest of Meulaboh on the Aceh coast, according to the local Meteorological and Geophysics Agency, triggering a local tsunami alert.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 7.4.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage although some media said panicked people rushed from their houses and some sought higher ground.

 The people of Aceh are still traumatised by memories of December 26, 2004, when the Indian Ocean surged over the northern tip of Sumatra after a 9.3-magnitude quake split the seabed to the island's west.

Indonesia was the nation hardest hit in the tsunami, one of the world's deadliest natural disasters, with at least 168,000 people killed out of more than 220,000 who lost their lives across the region.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

Today's quake off Meulaboh, which lies on the northwestern tip of the island of Sumatra, struck at a depth of 30 kilometres, the local agency said, while the USGS put thedept at 61 kilometres. (AFP)