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52 Killed in Indonesia Earthquake in Aceh Province

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Residents gather outside a damaged mosque, its minaret reduced to rubble following its collapse, after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the town of Pidie, Indonesia's Aceh province in northern Sumatra, on December 7, 2016. (Credit: ZIAN MUTTAQIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescuers are still combing the rubble for survivors after an earthquake in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Wednesday morning.

At least 52 people were killed, according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency.

The shallow 6.5-magnitude quake damaged many homes, shops and mosques, in the district of Pidie Jaya, some of which had been completely destroyed.

It struck just as many residents were preparing for early morning prayers.

No tsunami

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered immediate assistance to be sent to Aceh on Wednesday in the wake of the earthquake.

No tsunami warnings or advisories have been issued. The epicenter was 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of the town of Sigli in Aceh province.

Aceh province is no stranger to natural disasters — in 2004 more than 80,000 people were killed after a tsunami swept across the Indonesian region, leaving millions homeless.

Large earthquakes are relatively common around Indonesia, which sits on the infamous Ring of Fire, a set of fault lines which circle the Pacific Basin.

Wednesday’s earthquake is Indonesia’s second major temblor in 2016, and its most severe yet.

In March, a magnitude-7.8 quake struck off the south-western coast of Sumatra, but despite initial warnings, no tsunamis or deaths were registered as a result.