So far no reports of any tsunami danger, though parts of Indonesia’s previously hit areas were temporarily evacuated.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A 7.7 earthquake shook Indonesia’s northwest island of Sumatra early Wednesday, prompting a brief tsunami warning and sending residents rushing for higher ground. There were no immediate reports of widespread damage.
The quake struck at 5:15 a.m. (2215 GMT) and was centered 125 miles (205 kilometers) northwest of Sibolga in Sumatra at a depth of 28.6 miles (46 kilometers), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It had earlier said the quake measured 7.8.
The Indonesia Meteorology and Geophysics Agency and the Pacific Tsunami Warning centre in Honolulu issued tsunami warnings following the quake, but lifted them two hours later.
“So far no damage or casualties have been reported and the situation is under control,” Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf said.
At least five strong aftershocks measuring up to 5.2 were recorded, the meteorology agency said.
The quake, which struck as people in the region were preparing for morning prayers, caused panic in North Sumatra’s capital of Medan and other cities in the region. Electricity was cut in Medan and Banda Aceh, provincial capital of Aceh.
People in several cities along the southeastern coast of Sumatra as well as Sinabang on Simeulue island and Gunung Sitoli on nearby Nias island poured into the streets and rushed to higher ground after the quake.
“rumours about a tsunami panicked villagers living near the beach,” said Eddy Effendi, a resident in Nias district of North Sumatra province. “They ran away on motorbikes and cars or by climbing the hills. There was panic and chaos everywhere, but I don’t see serious damage or injuries in my village.”
Residents in Sibolga said the shaking lasted more than a minute and utility poles in the area were knocked down.
A 2004 tsunami triggered by a magnitude-9.2 earthquake in the same region killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries on the Indian Ocean basin.
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