Strong earthquake causes panic in Banda Aceh, no reports of damage

22 May 2005 | 15:35 Code : 5092 Geoscience events
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A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province Sunday, causing panic among residents but there were no reports of damage or casualties, seismologist and witnesses said.
A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province Sunday, causing panic among residents but there were no reports of damage or casualties, seismologist and witnesses said. 

The quake that occurred at around 06:00 local time (2300 GMT Saturday), was centered under the Indian Ocean, about 58 kilometers (36 miles) southwest of the province's capital Banda Aceh, said Suhardjono, an official at the Jakarta office of Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. 

The quake, centered 40 kilometers (25 miles) west-northwest of Banda Aceh, was recorded in Hong Kong at 7:07 a.m. (2307 GMT Saturday), the Hong Kong Observatory said in a statement. 

The Hong Kong Observatory earlier said the quake measured 5.6 magnitude. 

Witnesses in Banda Aceh said many residents ran out from their houses as the quake jolted the city for about 15 seconds. 

However, Suhardjono, who uses one name, said the Sunday tremor which centered about 58 kilometers (36 miles) beneath the Earth's surface, has no potential to trigger tsunami. 

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire.'' 

A magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Dec. 26, killed more than 128,000 people and left a half-million homeless.  

Three months later, another strong tremor left more than 900 dead on the Indonesian island of Nias and some smaller, surrounding islands.


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