Terrified residents evacuated their houses and shuttled loved ones to safety as buildings collapsed from the 6.2 magnitude quake. Image Credit: AFP

Padang: At least two people died when a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's Sumatra island on Friday, with residents shuttling loved ones to safety as buildings crumbled around them.

The quake came just minutes after a less violent tremor as terrified residents had begun evacuating their houses.

"We all fled our home (after the first quake)," Yudi Prama Agustino, 36, told AFP. "I have a one-year-old baby, so in panic I pushed the stroller out of the house."

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake measured 6.2 magnitude and struck about 66 kilometres (41 miles) north-northwest of Bukittinggi, a hilly town in West Sumatra province. It struck about 12 kilometres (7.4 miles) below the Earth's surface.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency, said there was no danger of a tsunami but warned of possible aftershocks.

Television reports showed the strong temblor sending streams of panicked people into the streets in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province, and patients in a hospital at West Pasaman district - the closest area to the epicenter - were being evacuated from the building.

People in neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore also reportedly felt the tremors. A video that circulated on social media showed residents gathered in streets after high-rises in Kuala Lumpur swayed for a few seconds. Witnesses reported seeing their doors and chairs shaking and photos and paintings fixed to the walls trembling.

Hamsuardi, the West Pasaman district head, said Friday's earthquake caused minor to moderate damage to dozens of houses and buildings and injured several people, but no deaths were reported.

Authorities are still collecting information about the full scale of damage in the affected areas.

Collapsed homes

Images shared with AFP from Pasaman city, near the quake's epicentre, showed partially collapsed houses with bricks lying on the ground and holes in the walls.

The town mayor's residence also suffered damage with glass shattered all over the floor, according to Suharyanto.

Television footage showed patients being wheeled out of a hospital in West Sumatra's provincial capital Padang.

Alim Bazar, head of the disaster mitigation agency of Pasaman, told AFP some buildings suffered cracks.

"The mayor called and ordered all second and third floors in every building should be vacated," he said.

Irpanda, a resident of Pasaman city, told Metro TV that he felt both the first and second tremors.

"At first, the quake only lasted for a few seconds. People fled their homes and buildings nearby were swaying," he said.

"But then another quake happened and it was so strong. More people fled their houses," he said, adding patients at a local hospital were moved outside.

Singapore, Malaysia tremors

Tremors were also felt in Singapore, witnesses and police said.

"Earth tremors were... felt in certain parts of Singapore at about 9:45 am," the police said in a statement.

The police and emergency services "have received several calls from the public reporting these tremors", police added.

One Singapore resident told AFP he felt a slight shake at home which left him dizzy, while state broadcaster CNA showed a video of ceiling lamps swaying at a highrise apartment.

Malaysia's meteorological department said in a tweet that "vibrations" were felt on the peninsula's western states.

"Wow #earthquake in Kuala Lumpur," wrote one Twitter user. "Building is swaying!!"

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", causing it to experience frequent earthquakes.

In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude quake struck the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 people throughout the region, including about 170,000 in Indonesia.

In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

Indonesia has a number of seismic faults and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.