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Earthquake rocks Indonesia’s Aceh region

An earthquake rocked Indonesia's Aceh province on Tuesday, triggering panic, witnesses said.
/ Source: news services

An earthquake rocked Indonesia's Aceh province on Tuesday, triggering panic in a region hard hit by the Dec. 26 tsunami.

There were no reports of damage or injuries, but the 5.6-magnitude quake caused frightened residents to flee their homes and other buildings.

An Associated Press reporter in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, said dozens of people fled from a five-story hotel there. The quake did not appear to cause any damage in the city.

The quake occurred after a visit to Bada Aceh by former President Bill Clinton on Monday. Clinton, who was recently named U.N. special envoy for tsunami recovery, was in the region as part of a four-day tour to ensure that aid is being distributed fairly and efficiently, and to keep the world’s attention on tsunami recovery.

Aceh has experienced countless earthquakes since a massive tsunami-producing tremor off its coast on Dec. 26. The disaster killed more than 128,000 in Aceh and more than 40,000 in 10 other countries across the Indian Ocean. Three months later, an earthquake caused extensive damage on Nias island, leaving more than 900 dead.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, a moderately strong earthquake shook southern Japan, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The magnitude-5.7 temblor struck at 11:04 a.m., and was centered near the coastal city of Hyuga, in Miyazaki prefecture, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

There was no danger of tsunami, potentially killer waves triggered by seismic activity, the agency said.

A Hyuga city police spokesman, who declined to be identified, said there were no reports of injuries or damage.