UPDATE: 20 killed in magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Banda Aceh, Indonesia
People stand next to rubble of collapsed buildings following an earthquake in Pidie Jaya, Aceh, Indonesia in this still frame taken from video December 7, 2016. METRO TV/Via REUTERS

UPDATE: More than 20 people have reportedly died in the Aceh earthquake that jolted the highly quake-prone Indonesian region in the wee hours of Wednesday.

The magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck 130 km southeast of Banda Aceh on Indonesia's Sumatra island. The authorities have not warned of a tsunami. The province was among the places that suffered the most devastation in the 2004 tsunami.

Local official Said Mulyadi told MetroTV news as many as 40 have sustained injuries, Xinhua said. Reports of damage are only coming in, local officials said.

"Several shophouses and homes have caved in in Pidie Jaya district and the owners are still trapped there," local disaster management chief Apriadi Achmad told AFP.

"We are now deploying heavy machines to help out and hopefully we can save the ones who are trapped," he added.

The shallow tremor struck 10 kilometres north of Reuleuet at 5:03am local time north of Sumatra, the US Geological Survey said. It said aftershocks can be expected in the next few hours. Initial reports had said the quake was of magnitude 6.8.

According to Indonesia's Climate Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BNPB), no tsunami warning was issued as the tremor was not judged damaging enough to trigger a tsunami.

Shallow earthquake of magnitude 6.4 strikes Banda Aceh in Indonesia
Shallow earthquake of magnitude 6.4 strikes Banda Aceh in Indonesia CSEM

"Some homes and shophouses in Pidie Jaya have collapsed, there are residents who are wounded, efforts are being made to handle the impact of the earthquake," BNPB offiials said.

An earthquake of similar intensity that struck off west of Sumatra in June had damaged scores of buildings and injured eight people.

Indonesia sits on the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide, and the region experiences frequent earthquakes. The 2004 earthquake and tsunami had killed more than 170,000 people in Indonesia.