6.5-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia's Sumatra, tremors felt in S'pore

SYDNEY - An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 was recorded off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Thursday, the US Geological Survey reported.

The quake sent panicked people running from their homes but not causing any casualties or damage.

Tremors were felt in a few parts of Singapore, reported the National Environment Agency. Residents living in Marine Parade, Bedok, Toa Payoh, Hougang, Punggol and Sengkang reportedly felt the tremors lasting for between 30 seconds and a minute.

One resident of Costa Rhu apartments in East Coast tweeted to say she was shocked to find her chandelier was swaying and water tank 'shaking'.

The quake was centred about 155 km (95 miles) south of the Sumatran port city of Padang at a depth of about 50 km (30 miles), the USGS said.

It had originally been reported with a magnitude of 6.2.

Many people were woken by the quake around dawn and fled their homes in Padang, about 140 kilometres (90 miles) from the epicentre, an AFP journalist in the city said.

The quake happened at 5:56 am local time (2256 GMT Wednesday). No tsunami warning was issued.

Ade Nelvi, a woman living in Padang, said she was woken by the tremor.

"It was strong and my house was shaking, so I ran to my kids' bedroom to wake them up and we ran out of the house," she said.

Electricity cut out in some places after the quake but was restored shortly afterwards, said the AFP journalist, and people were not ordered to evacuate their homes.

Wandono, a senior official from Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, said the quake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami.

"So far we have not received any reports of damage," added the official, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where tectonic plates collide.

In December 2004, a massive 9.15 magnitude undersea quake triggered an Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in a dozen countries. Most of those killed were in the province of Aceh on Sumatra's northwest tip.

Indonesia straddles the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.