Powerful aftershocks hit Indonesia

Two intense aftershocks struck north-western Indonesia on Sunday in the latest of a barrage of jolts since a massive quake nearly a week ago killed about 1 300 people, meteorologists said.

A 6,2-magnitude aftershock hit at 7.59am local time and was centred 157km south of the Nias island town of Gunung Sitoli, worst-hit in last week’s quake, the Indonesian meteorology office said.

Its focus was 33km under the seabed.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the quake, which was felt in Nias, the nearby Mentawai islands and several towns in west Sumatra.

The second quake was at 10.11am and measured 6,1 on the Richter scale, meteorologists said. Its focus was 37km east of the town of Tarutung in the north of Sumatra island, and 160km underground.

Police had no reports of damage or casualties.

The area has been hit by a barrage of aftershocks from an 8,7-strong quake—one of the most powerful in the past 100 years—that struck on March 28.

An estimated 1 300 people were killed, mainly on Nias, and thousands of people have fled to higher ground fearing another quake or tsunami.

Nias escaped much of the destruction from the December tsunami, caused by a 9,3-strong quake along the same fault line.

The tsunami is believed to have killed 220 000 Indonesians on Sumatra. It also struck coastlines across the Indian Ocean, killing more than 270 000 people in total.—Sapa-AFP

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