Powerful quake rattles Indonesia's Sumatra island

A powerful earthquake shook buildings and panicked residents across a large swath of western Indonesia on Friday, but caused no known injuries or damage, officials and witnesses said.

The 6.3-magnitude quake struck at 10:58 a.m. (358 GMT) and was centered 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Medan, the capital of Sumatra island, the U.S. Geological Survey on its Web site.

It was felt in several towns and cities in the region and nearby Aceh province, which bore the brunt of the 2004 tsunami. People ran from their homes during the five second tremor, El-Shinta radio quoted residents as saying, but no one was hurt.

Buildings also swayed in Meulaboh, on Sumatra's west coast, but there were no reports of serious damage, said Syahrul, a local police officer.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin, reports AP.

A magnitude-9 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 131,000 people in Aceh alone and left a half-million others homeless.

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