Strong earthquake kills 3, damages buildings in Indonesia

Updated on Feb 21, 2008 08:49 AM IST

A powerful earthquake struck western Indonesia, killing three people and injuring 25 others, officials said.

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HT Image
AP | By, Jakarta

A powerful earthquake struck western Indonesia, killing three people and injuring 25 others, officials said.

A tsunami warning was briefly triggered, but no waves were detected.

The US Geological Survey said the quake yesterday had a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 and struck under the island of Simeulue off the western coast of Sumatra, the region worst hit in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Indonesian Health Minister's disaster center, said "many" buildings on Simeulue were damaged an three people were killed. He said at least 25 others were seriously injured.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert saying coastlines close to the epicenter were at risk of a possible tsunami. It cancelled the warning two hours later after no large waves were generated.

The quake was felt across much of western and northern Sumatra, where many people led swaying homes and buildings. In coastal areas, residents ran to high ground in fear of a tsunami.

"Everything shook very strongly for more than a minute and I ran along with the others. I heard people screaming in panic," said Ahmad Yushadi, a resident of Aceh province on the northern tip of the island.

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