Fresh earthquake rocks Sumatra

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The Independent Online

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 rattled Indonesia's North Sumatra province yesterday, prompting a brief local tsunami watch, knocking out power and damaging some homes.

The US Geological Survey said the afternoon quake hit 135 miles south-east of Banda Aceh at a depth of 38 miles. Indonesia and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Honolulu issued a tsunami watch for the area. Indonesia's meteorology agency said the closest town to the epicentre was Meulaboh, where a small "tsunami wave" was detected by a buoy off the coast.

Local media reports said the quake caused panic in many parts of Aceh – hit hard by the earthquake that triggered the 2004 tsunami that killed 230,000 – and in neighbouring North Sumatra province. Many residents remained outside in the streets for fear of another quake.

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