A 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit off the west coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island today, sending terrified residents fleeing from homes and buildings, reports AFP.
One man collapsed and died of shock while rushing out of his home, authorities said.
The quake struck around 7.30am (0030 GMT) some 300km southwest of Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, at a depth of 45km, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department said in a statement that the epicentre of the quake was 547km southwest of Lumut, Perak. It also said that tremors were felt in the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, reports Bernama.
Residents in Simeulue, a small island about 150km off Sumatra’s west coast, said violent shaking was felt for about a minute and had caused an electricity blackout.
“People were crying, grabbing their belongings and rushing out of their homes,” said an AFP reporter in Sinabang, the capital of Simeulue island.
“There is no electrical power in some areas, and I can see cracks in the walls of homes around me,” he said.
“Some people are returning inside their homes, but others are still outside, afraid there may be aftershocks.”
Local media and Indonesia’s meteorology agency said there were no immediate reports of significant damage or other casualties directly related to the quake.
The agency placed the quake in the sea off Simeulue, but did not issue a tsunami warning. It said slight shaking was also felt in the city of Banda Aceh, about 360km from Simeulue.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology also said the Indonesian quake posed no tsunami threat to Australia.
The USGS initially reported a 6.6-magnitude quake, but downgraded the intensity to 6.4 - the same strength as Indonesia's meteorology agency reported.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.