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Quake hits Indonesia’s Nias island

An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 rattled Indonesia’s Nias island late on Saturday, sparking panic as residents fled their homes for higher ground fearing a possible tsunami, an official said on Sunday.
/ Source: Reuters

An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 rattled Indonesia’s Nias island late on Saturday, sparking panic as residents fled their homes for higher ground fearing a possible tsunami, an official said on Sunday.

There were no reports of casualties or damage.

The Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysical Agency in Jakarta said the epicenter was about 65 miles northwest of Nias island, which was hit by an 8.7 magnitude quake on March 28 that killed at least 600 people.

Saturday’s 20-km deep undersea quake struck at around midnight, leading to a power blackout for around 30 minutes. Residents in Nias’s main town Gunungsitoli rushed out of their homes.

“People were running to the hill, they’re afraid of a possible tsunami and local officials told them to calm down,” aid worker Setyoaji Prajudi told Reuters via telephone.

“There’s no report of major damage or casualties so far,” Prajudi added.

Indonesia — especially Sumatra — has been hit by daily aftershocks since the massive earthquake on Dec. 26 that led to a devastating tsunami.

Nias, about 870 miles northwest of Jakarta, is a remote and rugged island off Sumatra famed as a surfing paradise.