The magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck near southern Aceh's Singkil town and its surrounding areas at 11.30 AM, said Muslih, an official at the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. Muslih, said the quake strongly jolted Singkil, but so far there are no reports of its effects. Andayani, an official at the local district office, said many panicked city-dwellers ran out of their houses when the quake struck.
"Thank God, we have not heard of any damage or casualties so far," Andayani said. The private El Shinta radio reported that the quake also jolted Nias island in North Sumatra province, causing panic among villagers.
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the pacific 'Ring of Fire,' an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra Island, was the hardest hit by the December 26, magnitude 9 quake and the subsequent tsunami that killed more than 176,000 people in 11 countries, 131,000 of them in Aceh alone.