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Earthquake provokes panic around Algiers, 11 injured

Algeria's state news agency says a 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck a town in the country's north, injuring 11 people and causing extensive damage.

The report cited the national geophysical center as saying the quake hit at about 4 a.m. in Hammam Melouane, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Algiers, the capital.

Local official Abdelghani Yazouzi told the news agency that 90 percent of the buildings in the area were damaged, in part because of poor construction. He says people were panicked.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the magnitude of the tremor at 4.9.

In May 2003, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the northern town of Boumerdes, leaving 2,300 people dead and 10,000 injured.