Indonesia: 7.3 Quake
January 11, 2012 by staff
Indonesia: 7.3 Quake, Banda Aceh – A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Indonesia’s northern Sumatra early Wednesday, sending panicked residents onto the streets and in search of higher ground.
Thousands on the island of Simeulue, 200km from the epicentre, ran from their homes as the ground shook, an AFP reporter on the scene said.
But after Indonesia issued a tsunami warning, the residents ran back inside to collect their belongings and then sought higher ground.
A warning was also issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, but both have since been lifted.
“There were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties, and that’s still the case,” Meteorology and Geophysics Agency official Tiar Prasetya said.
The agency said the under-sea quake hit at 01:37, while the USGS reported the depth at 29km.
A soldier named Eko who was on the shore on Simeulue when the earthquake struck said he monitored the water levels in fear of another tsunami.
“The water receded about a metre, which is a sign a tsunami is coming. Usually the water rushes back quickly, but that didn’t happen, so I was worried a tsunami would hit,” he told AFP.
The USGS reported the epicentre was 423km southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province on Indonesia’s Sumatra island.
In Banda Aceh, the ground shook for 30 seconds and terrified residents rushed out of their homes, but they returned indoors shortly after, an AFP reporter there said.
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