6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra

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A powerful and shallow 6.1 magnitude undersea earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, the third tremor to jolt the region since Monday morning.

The South Asian country's meteorology and geophysics agency (BMKG) recorded the shallow quake off the coastal town of Mentawai island, off Sumatra's west coast just before 10.30am local time.

The earthquake posed no danger of triggering a tsunami, Indonesia's meteorology agency said. So far no casualties or major destruction have been reported, except for some minor damages on Siberut island.

The agency had earlier recorded a magnitude of 6.4 but revised that to 6.1, a BMKG spokesperson said.

Since the early hours of Monday, three consecutive earthquakes have rattled the island nation, with a 5.2-magnitude tremor recorded before dawn, followed by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake less than an hour later.

The latest and the most powerful quake was felt strongly for several seconds in the Mentawai islands, in the provincial capital of Padang, and in the surrounding mountainous area of Bukitinggi, the disaster agency said.

Residents in several villages were evacuated to higher ground, a local disaster official, identified only as Novriadi, told Reuters.

The official added that a local church, school and health facility were slightly damaged by the shocks. The locals have been warned against potential aftershocks and urged not to panic.

The nation of over 270 million people falls under the "Pacific Ring of Fire", where different tectonic plates meet and create frequent seismic activity, resulting in earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

Earlier in February, at least 25 people were killed and over 400 suffered injuries after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the West Sumatra province.

In January 2021, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

Padang was rocked by a 7.6-magnitude quake in 2009 that killed over 1,100 people, injured several thousand and caused widespread destruction.