Sumatra Earthquake 2013: Strong M-6.1 Tremor Rocks Indonesia’s Islands, Killing At Least 6 [REPORT]

By Philip Ross on July 2, 2013 5:09 PM EDT

sumatra earthquake
A Sumatra earthquake, like the one that struck back in 2012 (pictured), has killed at least six people and leveled hundreds of homes and buildings. (Photo: Reuters)

A Sumatra earthquake, centered 34 miles off the tip of Indonesia's largest island, rocked the nation of 17,000 islands Tuesday. At least six people have reportedly been killed (although some sources say more people, as more deaths are reported), and hundreds of others are injured. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Sumatra earthquake was a magnitude 6.1 quake. Subsequent aftershocks measured 5.3 and 5.2 on the Richter scale.

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The AP reports that the Sumatra earthquake struck at a depth of 6 miles. Ten homes were damaged in Takengon, the capital of Central Aceh District. The strong Sumatra earthquake also triggered landslides in the region. One man, who was working at a coffee plantation, was caught in a landslide and was killed. According to Web Pro News, six children died when a mosque collapsed. Fourteen other children remain trapped inside.

"I see many houses were damaged and their roofs fell onto some people," one Central Aceh district resident told AP. "Many people were injured but it is difficult to evacuate them due to traffic jams."

Across the entire province, over 300 houses and buildings were damaged. The area hit hardest by the Sumatra earthquake was Bener Meriah, a regency in the Aceh District with a population of about 122,000 people.

Magnitude 6 earthquakes are strong enough to cause moderate to major damage. According to the Michigan Technology University, there are an estimated 100 magnitude 6 quakes, like the Sumatra earthquake on Tuesday, every year around the globe. Smaller quakes are far more common; there are approximately 900,000 earthquakes with magnitude 2.5 or less annually.

Sumatra experienced a similar large earthquake back in April 2012. The powerful 2012 Sumatra earthquake measured 8.6 on the Richter scale, and was followed by a series of strong aftershocks.

Indonesia is susceptible to tremors because it is underlain by the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe of volcanoes and fault lines that encircles the Pacific Ocean. Over 90 percent of the world's earthquakes occur along this basin.

Read more from iScience Times:

Washington Earthquake: 4.3 Tremor Rattles Homes, Nerves In Leavenworth But No Fatalities Reported [REPORT]

Peru Earthquake: Lima Rocked By 4.6 Magnitude Quake 22 Miles From Coast [VIDEOS]

Chile Earthquake 2013: M-4.5 Tremor Hits Near Iquique, Strong Aftershocks Expected [REPORT]

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