Earthquake Kills 5 in Western Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- An earthquake shook Indonesia's Sumatra island, killing five people and damaging 60 homes, officials said Tuesday.

The quake, with an estimated magnitude of 5.6, struck the town of Padang Pandjang at 9:44 p.m. Monday, said an official with the Indonesian government's Geophysics Agency.

Arief Karyadi, an official with the Geophysics Agency, said crews were cleaning up Tuesday in Padang Pandjang, the hardest hit town about 625 miles northwest of the capital, Jakarta.

When the quake hit, people panicked and ran out of their homes, Karyadi said. Many stayed outside overnight fearing aftershocks, he said.

But by Tuesday, transport was running normal and most businesses were open, Karyadi said. There were no reports of aftershocks and most city services like electricity and phones were working, he said.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the so-called Pacific ``Ring of Fire'' - an arc of volcanic and seismic activity partly encircling the Pacific Basin.

Earlier this month, an earthquake in West Papua province with an estimated magnitude of 6.8 killed three dozen people and injured more than 100.

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