Moderate quake hits Northern Sumatra  


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December 18, 2006

A moderate 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's northern Sumatra region Monday, geologists said, but there were no reports of damage or casualties. The quake hit at 4:10 am on Monday (2110 Sunday GMT) and was centred 74 kilometres (46 miles) south-southwest of Banda Aceh on Sumatra with its epicentre 30 kilometres under the ocean floor, according to the US Geological Survey. The Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where continental plates meet, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. Indonesia was the nation worst hit by the earthquake-triggered Asian tsunami in December 2004, which killed some 168,000 people in Aceh province. A 7.7-magnitude earthquake in July on the south coast of the main island of Java also killed more than 600 people. - AFP/ir