Many residents of Algiers and other cities and towns left their apartments and houses in panic, as the ground began to shake on Saturday.

Electricity was down in the towns of Lakhdaria, Boudaouaou and Thenia, near Boumerdes, a city 50 kilometres east of the capital.

The epicentre of the quake was located 25 kilometres north of Zemmouri near Boumerdes, said the Algerian centre for astronomy, astrophysics and geophysics.

The centre said the latest quake was another aftershock of a quake which killed 2300 people and injured more than 11,000 in the Algiers and Boumerdes area in May last year.

Zemmouri was completely devastated in that quake which reached 6.8. More than 1000 aftershocks have been registered since.