Strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Indonesia; no casualty or damage reported

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A strong earthquake struck off the west coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island early on Monday, sending residents fleeing from their homes, but no damage or victims were reported immediately.

The shallow 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit at 4:06 am (2109 GMT) at a depth of 21 kilometres (13 miles), with its epicentre 167 kilometres west of the coastal city of Pariaman, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The epicentre was 197 kilometres from Padang, the capital and largest city in West Sumatra province.

The Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the quake was felt in many parts of the province but there was no danger of a tsunami. It was occurred just before dawn and was centred about 161 kilometres (100 miles) southeast of South Nias, a district in North Sumatra province.

"The earthquake was felt for one minute at moderate intensity as people got panic and fled their homes," said the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) in an initial report.

The tremor was followed by a series of strong aftershocks, according to the Indonesian geophysics agency.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially said that the earthquake could potentially generate a tsunami affecting the Indian Ocean region, but it soon lifted the warning.

"Based on the latest report, there is no damage and victims, but we continue monitoring. The jolt was strongly felt in the South Nias island," Agus Wibisono, Nias’ Search and Rescue office head said.

After the tsunami threat was lifted "the people calmed down," he added.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", causing it to experience frequent earthquakes.

A 6.2 earthquake shook Indonesia's West Sumatra province last month, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 400. Thousands of homes and other buildings were damaged by the tremors that were felt as far away as Malaysia and Singapore.

With inputs from AFP and AP

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Strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Indonesia; no casualty or damage reported
Strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Indonesia; no casualty or damage reported
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