Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Quake in Indonesia kills 22, injures more than 200

Quake survivors are pictured outside the hospital in Lampahan village in Aceh province on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • The death toll rises to 22, the national disaster agency says
  • Thousands of homes were damaged in the 6.1-magnitude quake
  • It hit a province that suffered severely in a devastating 2004 quake and tsunami
  • Fear of aftershocks makes many residents hesitant to return to their homes

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake shook northwestern Indonesia on Tuesday, killing 22 people, injuring more than 200 and damaging thousands of homes, authorities said.

The death and destruction was concentrated in the province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra. The two hardest-hit districts were Bener Meriah and Central Aceh, where landslides cut off some major roads, the country's National Disaster Management Agency said.

People ran out of their homes when the quake struck, and many residents were hesitant to return for fear of aftershocks, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the agency.

In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude underwater earthquake off the coast of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in 14 countries. The majority of the deaths were in Indonesia, with Aceh bearing the brunt.

Tuesday's quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles) in a mountainous area near Sumatra's northwestern tip, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was followed by at least two aftershocks of magnitude 5.2 and 5.3.

Indonesia is on the Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

    Measuring the magnitude of earthquakes