8.7-magnitude quake hits off Indonesia, triggers Tsunami fears

INDONESIA QUAKE

A massive earthquake has struck off Indonesia’s Sumatra island, triggering an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert and evacuation orders to clear people away from the coast. The quake’s magnitude was 8.6, according a revised reading from the US Geological Survey, and struck 431 kilometres off the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh where terrified residents poured into the streets.

The city was near the epicentre of a devastating 9.1-magnitude quake in 2004 that triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean which killed 220,000 people, including 170,000 in Aceh province which lies on the northern tip of Sumatra. The latest tremor was felt as far afield as Thailand, where skyscrapers in the capital Bangkok swayed. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand all issued evacuation orders.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said there was “so far no tsunami threat” after the quake but that the country remained on alert. Residents in Banda Aceh reported the ground shook for about five minutes, first mildly and then growing violent.

Source : http://www.smh.com.au/

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