Earthquake Hits Indonesian Island of Sumatra; At Least 3 Dead

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake has hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing at least three people and damaging dozens of homes and several buildings, including churches and hospitals.

The earthquake struck early Tuesday morning, about 60 miles southwest of the city of Medan and about 62 miles beneath the earth's crust, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The greater Medan area has a population of over 4 million people.

Boby Sigit, an official at the National Disaster Management, told the Associated Press (AP) that a 12 year-old boy and a 60-year-old man were killed in Aceh, while a 26-year-old mother died in North Sumatra's district of Dairi. The boy and woman were killed by falling rubble and stones, while the man's cause of death was yet to be determined.

Hundreds of patients were evacuated from a hospital in Medan, the Associated Press reported.

The quake was felt by residents in Subulussalam, Aceh and Medan, as well as other cities in the surrounding region.

"My wife was screaming, my children crying," Burhan Mardiansyah, 37, told the AP. "We saw our walls start to crack and everything inside the house was falling. Thank God we're all safe."

Indonesia sits on a series of fault lines that makes the island one of the most seismically active regions in the world.

Over 200 people were killed last year after Indonesia's Mount Merapi, an extremely active volcano, erupted several times. Entire villages were destroyed as a result of the eruptions.

In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Sumatra, triggering the infamous tsunami that killed over 200,000 people. Roughly half of those killed were from Aceh, the same area that Tuesday's earthquake struck.