6.6-magnitude quake jolts Sumatra
Syofiardi Bachyul Jb
The Jakarta Post
Residents fled their homes as a 6.6-magnitude earthquake jolted Bengkulu province in the western part of Sumatra on Sunday morning.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the epicenter was 71 kilometers southwest of Bengkulu and around 10 km beneath the seabed.
No tsunami alert was issued.
In several areas of Bengkulu, the earthquake caused damage to electricity facilities.
Bengkulu resident Dedek Hendri said he was reading an e-book on his laptop when he felt the earthquake.
"As the earthquake got stronger, I told my wife who was cooking in the kitchen to immediately get out of the house. The earthquake lasted about 10 minutes, long enough. My family and other neighbors gathered in a field near my house. People were screaming," he told The Jakarta Post.
Residents of Padang and Solok in West Sumatra as well as Sungaipenuh also felt the earthquake. Sungaipenuh resident Amalia, 28, said she also fled her house, and so did other residents in her neighborhood.
"So far, no fatalities have been reported," National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a press statement. He also said no major damage had been reported.
Chairman of the West Sumatra branch of the Indonesian Association of Geologists, Ade Edward, said the epicenter was known as a subduction zone, which was prone to big earthquakes.
He said bigger earthquakes had happened in the same epicenter in 2000 and 2007. (bbs)
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