Indonesia issues tsunami warning following 7.6 quake off Sumatra
The earthquake at 12.37 a.m. local time (1837 GMT Tuesday) was centered about 423 kilometers (262 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh on Sumatra. It struck about 29.1 kilometers (18.1 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the seismological agency of Indonesia, measured the strength of the earthquake at 7.6 on the Richter scale. The USGS put the magnitude at 7.3 on the regional moment magnitude (Mw) scale.
Although the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami, BMKG issued a tsunami warning for local coastlines. No tsunami watches or warnings were immediately issued for other countries.
“There is a very small possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the earthquake epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin. “Authorities in the region near the epicenter should be made aware of this possibility.”
Indonesia is on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions also occur frequently in the region.
On December 26, 2004, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded struck off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. The 9.1-magnitude earthquake unleashed a deadly tsunami, striking scores of countries in the region. In all, at least 227,898 people were killed.
Most recently, on October 25, 2010, a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck just off the Mentawai Islands off the western coast of Sumatra. As a result, a wall of water killed at least 435 people on the islands and impacted more than 20 villages.