5.0 magnitude earthquake rocks Aceh

A December 2016 file photo shows 2 Acehnese men salvage valuable items from a damaged houses after 6.5 Magnitude earthquake hit Aceh province. (AFP pic)

JAKARTA: A 5.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s western Aceh province early Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The shallow quake struck shortly before 1 am local time with its epicentre 20km northwest of the city of Langsa.

No tsunami warning has been issued.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

In 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

A series of quakes and aftershocks on the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok through July and August killed about 500 people and forced hundreds of thousands into evacuation shelters or tents.