An 8.7 magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia’s Aceh province, the U.S. Geological Survey said today, prompting residents to flee to higher ground as Indonesia, India and Thailand issued tsunami warnings.
The country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency issued a tsunami warning after the quake, which struck off the west coast of Sumatra today. USGS revised down its original reading on the quake from 8.9.
Buildings in neighboring Singapore shook after the quake hit and tremors were felt in India. There were no immediate reports concerning damage. Banda Aceh lost electricity and residents moved to higher ground.
More than 220,000 people were killed in 12 countries after a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in 2004 unleashed waves that destroyed coastal areas around the Indian Ocean. Indonesia’s 18,000 islands are prone to earthquakes because the nation sits along the Pacific’s “ring of fire” zone of active volcanoes and tectonic faults.
The quake off Indonesia’s Aceh province today was at a depth of 33 kilometers.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake off the coast of northernJapan in March last year struck at a depth of 30 kilometers, according to the USGS, triggering a tsunami up to 39 meters (128 feet) high that left almost 20,000 people dead or missing.
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