7.7-magnitude quake hits off Indonesian island

Oct 25, 2010 By ALI KOTARUMALOS , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- A powerful earthquake hit off western Indonesia late Monday, briefly triggering a tsunami warning that sent thousands of panicked residents fleeing to high ground. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The 7.7-magnitude temblor struck at a depth of 13 miles (20 kilometers) off Sumatra island, said the U.S. Geological Survey.

At least five towns in the provinces of Bengkulu and West Sumatra were badly jolted, officials and witnesses said, as were the nearby Mentawai islands.

"Everyone was running out of their houses," said Sofyan Alawi, a resident in the city of Padang, adding that, with loudspeakers from mosques blaring out tsunami warnings, the roads leading to surrounding hills were quickly jammed with cars and motorcycles.

"We kept looking back to see if a wave was coming," said 28-year-old resident Ade Syahputra.

Areas closest to the epicenter of the 9:42 p.m. (10:42 a.m. EDT, 1442 GMT) quake were sparsely populated, and there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, said Ade Edward, a disaster management agency official.

A 5.0-magnitude aftershock hit less than an hour after the original quake, and the region remained on alert for more.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity due to its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.

The city of Padang was badly shaken one year ago by a 7.6-magnitude quake that killed at least 700 people and flattened or severely damaged 180,000 buildings.

That followed the 2004 tsunami off Sumatra's westernmost province of Aceh that was triggered by a 9.1-magnitude quake and killed 230,000 in a dozen countries, roughly half in Indonesia.

Explore further: Strong quake hits east Indonesia; no tsunami threat

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nine dead in Indonesian earthquake

Sep 12, 2007

Officials reported at least nine people were killed and more than 100 injured after a strong earthquake and an aftershock struck the Indian Ocean Wednesday.

Fewer earthquake fatalities in 2005

Jan 14, 2006

There were fewer deaths worldwide in 2005 due to earthquakes, but almost 90,000 casualties were reported, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning

Mar 20, 2009

A major 7.9-magnitude earthquake has shaken the South Pacific nation of Tonga and sending people in low lying areas of Fiji fleeing for higher ground after a tsunami warning, according to officials.

New quake rattles New Zealand's Christchurch

Oct 04, 2010

A moderate earthquake measuring 5.2 struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Monday, exactly a month after the country's worst quake in nearly eight decades, US scientists said.

Recommended for you

Strong quake hits east Indonesia; no tsunami threat

18 hours ago

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Indonesia on Sunday evening, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and authorities said there was no threat of a tsunami.

Scientists make strides in tsunami warning since 2004

Dec 19, 2014

The 2004 tsunami led to greater global cooperation and improved techniques for detecting waves that could reach faraway shores, even though scientists still cannot predict when an earthquake will strike.

Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans

Dec 19, 2014

Long-term observations indicate that the oxygen minimum zones in the tropical oceans have expanded in recent decades. The reason is still unknown. Now scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.