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Strong quake strikes off western Indonesia; no immediate reports of injuries or damage

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — A strong earthquake struck off western Indonesia on Tuesday, causing some residents to panic, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 6.4 and struck 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of Sikabaluan, off the coast of Sumatra island. It had a depth of 38 kilometers (24 miles).

The earthquake caused some panic among residents in Pariaman, the closest town to the epicenter, but no injuries or damage was immediately reported, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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