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6.8 quake hits off Sumatra, Indonesia

An undersea earthquake off Indonesia's Aceh province has killed at least 24 people, authorities said.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck near the town of Sigli on Sumatra island destroying dozens of buildings.

Indonesia's meteorological agency said there was no risk of a tsunami.

In 2004, Aceh was devastated by a tsunami caused by a massive undersea earthquake that killed 120,000 people in the province.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck just offshore at 05:03 local time (22:03 GMT Tuesday) at a depth of 17.2km (11 miles). Many people are thought to be trapped in the rubble.

Local authorities say heavy equipment is being used to search for survivors.

The quake shook the nearby provincial capital of Banda Aceh and prompted many people to flee their homes and workplaces across the region.(BBC)