8.7 Magnitude Earthquake Off Aceh

April 11, 2012 by staff 

8.7 Magnitude Earthquake Off Aceh, A MAGNITUDE-8.7 earthquake has struck off the western coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reports. A tsunami watch is in place for 28 countries, including Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Burma and Thailand.

The undersea earthquake struck just after 2.30pm local time (6.38pm AEST) and at a depth of 33km.

The quake’s epicenter was located 431km southwest of Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra.

A 6.5-magnitude aftershock was later reported in Banda Aceh.

An Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch was put in place immediately following the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The tsunami watch was in place for 28 countries, including Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, said Prihyadi, an official at the Indonesian Meteorology, Geophysics and Climatology Agency.

”We have issued tsunami warnings for Aceh, North Sumatra and West Sumatra,” said Prihyadi, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

But residents across Sumatra fled their homes in panic, local media reported.

Residents in Banda Aceh reported the ground shaking violently.

”People are in a panic, and there are traffic jams everywhere in Banda Aceh,” local Metro TV reported.

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