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Earthquake hits Indonesian province causing residents to flee in panic

An earthquake causing residents to run from their homes in panic has struck Indonesia's central Sulawesi province with the quake's centre just 49 miles south of the provincial capital Palu.

Photographs posted on Twitter showed a collapsed building in Poso, a city lying south-east of the epicentre, said the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

The 6.8-magnitude quake, which had a depth of six miles, was followed by magnitude 5.0 and 4.9 aftershocks.

All the disturbances occurred at a shallow depth, which tends to cause more damage on the surface of the earth.

There were no reports of casualties and scientist Imam Faturrachman said the land-based quake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location along the Pacific's so-called Ring of Fire.

A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed a total of 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

AP

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