Powerful earthquake injures dozens in Indonesia's Aceh province (VIDEO)


Residents of the remote Simeuleu island near Aceh observe the sea level in their bay on April 11, 2012, after a powerful earthquake hit the western coast of Sumatra in Aceh province on April 11, 2012. A massive earthquake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island, US and Indonesian monitors reported, prompting an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert.



DENPASAR, Indonesia — A powerful 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's northwestern Aceh province on the island of Sumatra early Tuesday. Dozens have been reported injured. 

The epicenter of the quake was roughly 55 kilometers from the town of Bireuen, a regency of the larger Aceh province, according to data from the US Geological Survey. It took place at 7:37 AM local time.

Although it's unknown how many were injured, Sky News estimates "at least 50 people," and numerous buildings have collapsed as an effect of the powerful tremor. The quake appears to have shaken the provincial capital of Banda Aceh, which is located at the northern tip of the Sumatran land mass. 

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"I see many houses were damaged and their roofs fell onto some people," central Aceh district resident Bensu Elianita told the Associated Press. "Many people were injured but it is difficult to evacuate them due to traffic jams."

"We have received around 50 people with injuries suffered when the walls of their houses collapsed," said doctor Ema Suryani to AFP, speaking from Lampahan city in Aceh's Bener Meriah district. 

Aceh was hit extremely hard by the massive Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami in 2004, killing 170,000 people in Sumatra alone — with 35,000 bodies never recovered. The rebuilding process continues to this day from the enormous natural disaster. 

Here's a slideshow of images of the northern Sumatra quake on Tuesday.