JAKARTA - A MAJOR 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Indonesia on Monday, seismologists said, but there were no reports of damage or casualties and an earlier tsunami warning was lifted.

The undersea quake hit Indonesia's Kepulauan Mentawai region at 9.42pm (1442 GMT, 10.42pm) at a shallow depth of 20.6km, the US Geological Survey said.

The area is 240km west of Bengkulu on Sumatra island and 280km south of Padang - an area popular with tourists.

The Indonesian Geophysics and Meteorology agency lifted an earlier tsunami warning. The 7.7 earthquake was followed by a powerful 6.1-magnitude aftershock about five hours later in the same area.

Residents reported shaking as far away as the West Sumatran provincial capital of Padang relating to the earlier quake, according to an AFP reporter, but fears of widespread damaged eased a few hours later.

'There was shaking that went on for about three seconds or so. Residents panicked and ran to the hills but now they are starting to come down. There's no report of casualties or damage,' Disaster Management Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono told AFP.

Major quake hits Indonesia