Published on Mar 2, 2016
Powerful earthquake strikes off coast of Sumatra island, triggering a tsunami warning which was later lifted.
Indonesia has called off a tsunami warning after a a powerful and shallow 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of the island of Sumatra.
The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres on Wednesday, triggering a tsunami alert for parts of Sumatra, including West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh, the local BMKG quake monitoring agency said.
It was unclear whether the earthquake caused any damage or casualties, but the shallower a quake, the more likely it is to cause damage.
Erwin, a resident of Mentawai, a chain of islands off Sumatra, told Metro TV: “I am at the beach currently looking to see any tsunami sign with my flashlight. There’s nothing.
“A few minutes have passed but nothing, but many people have already evacuated to higher places.”
Kompas TV said patients at hospitals in Padang were being evacuated. A TVOne reporter said Padang residents were panicking and there were heavy traffic jams.
The US Geological Survey originally put the magnitude at 8.2, and then 8.1, before lowering it to 7.9 and then 7.8.
Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen, reporting from Jakarta, said: “People run to higher ground when this happens. Earthquakes happen very regularly in these areas.”
Indonesia, badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, straddles the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a highly seismically active zone where different plates on the Earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.
The 2004 tsunami killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Most of the deaths were in Aceh province.
World and International News Today 2nd March 2016,
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