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Indonesia: Several killed after 6.2 magnitude earthquake on Sumatra island

People inspect a damaged mosque in Pasaman, West Sumatra.
People inspect a damaged mosque in Pasaman, West Sumatra. Copyright AP Photo/Marsulai
Copyright AP Photo/Marsulai
By AP
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The earthquake sent more than 5,000 people fleeing their homes.

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A strong and shallow earthquake off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island has killed seven people and injured another 85.

The 6.2 magnitude quake struck on Friday, around 66 kilometres north of the town of Bukittinggi, according to the US Geological Survey.

At least four people, including two children, were killed in Pasaman district and three people died in the neighbouring district of West Pasaman.

The earthquake also caused dozens of houses and buildings to collapse near the epicentre, said Abdul Muhari, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s spokesperson.

More than 5,000 people have fled their homes to temporary shelters in the worst affected regions, he added.

“We are still focusing on search and rescue efforts for the victims,” Muhari said in a statement. Authorities were also still investigating the full extent of the damage in the affected areas.

Local media reports showed people panicking after strong tremors in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province.

Other footage showed streams filled with mud from landslides triggered by the earthquake, while a mosque, a school and several houses were flattened.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency, said there was no danger of a tsunami but warned of possible aftershocks.

The earthquake was also reportedly felt in nearby Malaysia and Singapore, where only limited damage has been reported.

Videos on social media show residents gathering in the streets of Kuala Lumpur after high-rise buildings swayed for a few seconds.

Indonesia was hit by a similar magnitude earthquake last January, which killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

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