Powerful 7.8 magnitude quake hits Indonesia

Powerful 7.8 magnitude quake hits Indonesia

The undersea quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres Southwest of Sumatra

JAKARTA (Indonesia) – A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck offs the coast of Indonesia, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake was centered in the Indian Ocean about 410 miles (660 kilometers) southwest of Muara Siberut and roughly 500 miles west-southwest of Padang, which is on the west coast of Sumatra, the Asian archipelago nation’s largest island.

The quake was felt strongly in Padang in West Sumatra for a few seconds, an Agence France-Presse journalist in the city said. People ran out of their homes to get to higher ground.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties but the shallower a quake the more likely it is to cause damage.

“So far there have been no reports (of damage) yet,” Andi Eka Sakya, an official of the National Meteorological Agency told.

USGS originally put the magnitude 8.2, and the 8.1, before lowering it to 7.9.

Indonesia, especially Aceh, was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. A 9.15-magnitude quake opened a fault line deep beneath the ocean on Dec. 26, 2004, triggering a wave as high as 17.4 meters that crashed ashore in more than a dozen countries to wipe some communities off the map in seconds.The disaster killed 126,741 people in Aceh alone.

Indonesia 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.

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