Earthquake in Indonesia: Strong aftershocks rocked Indonesia early on Thursday after a massive undersea earthquake sparked fears of a region-wide disaster similar to the 2004 Indian Ocean quake and tsunami that killed over 200,000 people.
There were no reports of deaths or damage to buildings from Wednesday night’s 7.8 magnitude quake, which caused panic in the Sumatran island port of Padang as people tried to reach higher ground when a tsunami warning was issued. No tsunami occurred.
Daily life resumed as normal at daybreak in Padang, a city of around 1 million people, and there were few visible signs of damage.
The National Meteorological Agency said there were six aftershocks during the night, but called for calm as they were diminishing in strength.
Fears ran high on Wednesday evening when it was reported that the tremor had measured 8.2 and authorities issued tsunami alerts. Patients at hospitals in Padang were evacuated and there were traffic jams as panicking residents tried to leave.
However, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) revised the magnitude down to 7.8 and within two hours of the quake striking the tsunami warnings were cancelled. USGS said the epicentre was 808 km (502 miles) southwest of Padang.