By Ainur Rohmah
TUBAN, Indonesia (AA) – A powerful earthquake caused residents of Indonesia’s Sumatra island to rush to the streets in panic Thursday, as its shocks rocked furniture and damaged buildings.
The Meteorological Agency announced there was no potential for a tsunami as the magnitude 6.5 temblor struck at sea at a depth of around 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) south of West Sumatra province.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, national disaster management agency spokesperson, told Anadolu Agency, “people panicked and rushed out of the house."
Residents of the South Coastal District and Muko-Muko Regency felt tremors for around 20-30 seconds.
The shaking moved furniture and appliances from their places in homes in the region, and images shared by Nugroho showed several houses in Muko-Muko suffered severe damage such as cracked walls and collapsed roofs.
“The telephone connection and electricity is now normal," he said.
The local disaster agency is continuing to assess damage to buildings, and any possible casualties.
The shocks from the morning earthquake were also reportedly felt in parts of Singapore and peninsular Malaysia to the north.
Indonesia lies within the Pacific’s "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and cause frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
On Dec. 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck the eastern coast of Sumatra, causing a tsunami that killed around 230,000 people as it tore along the coasts of Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.