PALU  - A powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake that shook the eastern Indonesian island of Sulawesi has killed at least three people and seriously injured a dozen others, an official said Sunday. The quake struck Saturday evening near the mountainous districts of Parigi Moutong and Sigi in Central Sulawesi province, where panicked residents ran from their homes into the streets as the ground shook violently for around 15 seconds. “We’ve received reports from the ground that three people have died, including a nine-year-old boy,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP.

“Twelve others have been seriously injured and 40 homes are damaged.” The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of around 20 kilometres (12 miles), 56 kilometres southeast of the provincial capital Palu, where residents also felt the tremor and ran from their homes. Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.