Strong earthquake hits western Indonesia, felt in Singapore

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A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 has struck just off Sumatra in western Indonesia, with shaking felt as far away as Singapore and Malaysia, seismologists and residents say. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The earthquake, which struck at 10:08 a.m. local time on Sunday, was centered about 73 kilometers (45 miles) west of Bengkulu, or 338 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Padang. It struck at a depth of about 36 kilometers (22 miles), making it a shallow earthquake.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.6, according to Indonesia’s seismological agency BMKG. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the initial magnitude slightly lower, at 6.4.

People across the island of Sumatra, including in cities such as Palembang and Jambi, reported feeling Sunday’s earthquake. Light shaking was felt as far away as Singapore and small parts of southern Malaysia.

“The tremor felt quite strong, some object hanging on the wall shook violently,” one resident in Indonesia told the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). In Singapore, a resident on the 20th floor of a building reported feeling “slight” shaking for nearly a minute.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties and no tsunami alerts were issued.

Indonesia is on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes.

In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 tremor, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, struck off the west coast of Sumatra, unleashing a massive tsunami that struck scores of countries in the region and killed at least 227,898 people.

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