A powerful earthquake struck Indonesia Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding 25 others on the country's western island of Simeulue.

An Indonesian health ministry official says many buildings were damaged during the quake, which struck in a region that was devastated by an Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

Witnesses say jolts from the temblor were felt across western Sumatra, where many rushed into the streets in panic.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude 7.6 quake was centered 310 kilometers west of the Sumatra island town of Medan.

The earthquake prompted authorities to briefly issue tsunami warnings. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center canceled its warning for the region, adding that a destructive widespread tsunami was unlikely based on historic earthquake and tsunami data.

In December 2004, a tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean devastated several areas in the region and killed more than 200,000 people, most of them in Indonesia.

The Indonesian archipelago is prone to earthquakes and is located in a belt of intense seismic activity known as the Ring of Fire.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.