Earthquake hits near Aceh, no reports of damage

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JAKARTA, Nov 23 (Reuters) An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, near Aceh,the country's meteorological agency said today, but officials said there was no damage to nearby energy facilities and a tsunami warning was not issued.

The quake struck 113 km southwest of Banda Aceh in Sumatra and was at a depth of 16 km, the agency said in a text message.

An official at Indonesia's oil and gas watchdog told Reuters that the natural gas production area in Arun operated by US Exxon Mobil had not been affected by the quake.

The facility produces around 500-600 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and supplies an LNG plant in Arun.

The official, who declined to be identified by name, also said that Arun LNG plant had not been affected by the tremor.

More than 20 people were killed when an 8.4 magnitude earthquake hit western Sumatra on Sept. 12, and thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed in the area.

The area was subsequently hit by a series of quakes and strong aftershocks, setting off tsunami warnings in Indonesia and other countries in the region.

Indonesia, which is situated in a belt of intense seismic activity known as the ''Pacific Ring of Fire'', was hit by a huge earthquake in December 2004, triggering a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean, which killed more than 230,000 people in the region, including 170,000 Indonesians.

REUTERS ARB ND1244

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