Strong quake off Indonesia's Sumatra, no tsunami alert

  • World
  • Sunday, 16 Aug 2009

PADANG, Indonesia (Reuters) - A strong earthquake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra Island on Sunday, but no tsunami warning was issued, the country's meteorological agency said.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at 7.0 and said it struck near the Mentawai islands off Sumatra at a depth of 32 km (20 miles).

The tremor injured seven people in the West Sumatra capital of Padang and damaged a house, Rustam S. Pakaya, head of the health ministry's crisis centre, said in a text message.

The epicentre was 43 km (27 miles) southeast of Siberut island off Sumatra's west coast, the meterological agency said in a text message.

"The quake was felt in Bukittinggi town, sending people rushing out of their homes," Fauzi, head of the seismology centre at the agency, told Reuters.

Fauzi said Indonesian authorities had not issued a tsunami alert but the Japan Meteorological Agency said in an email alert there was a very small possibility of a destructive local tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

The quake was followed by at least three aftershocks measuring 5.2, 5.5 and 5.6 in the same area, the Indonesian meteorological agency said in a text message alert.

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