Indonesia earthquake: Strong tremor hits off southern Sumatra

PUBLISHED Thu, August 31, 2017 - 1:26pm EDT
Credit: Google

A strong earthquake (gempa) with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 has struck just off the coast of southern Sumatra, seismologists and residents say. Shaking was felt as far away as Singapore and Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur.

The earthquake, which struck at 12:06 a.m. local time on Friday, was centered in the ocean about halfway between the city of Padang and the island of Siberut. It struck at a depth of about 10 kilometers, making it a shallow earthquake.

Indonesia's seismological agency BMKG put the preliminary magnitude of Friday's earthquake at 6.2 and said there was no threat of a tsunami. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) also put the preliminary magnitude at 6.2.

Residents across the region reported feeling strong shaking, including in Kambang, Painan, Padang, Bukittinggi, and other places in Southern Sumatra. "Enough to wake me from sleep and long enough to make me panicked," one resident told EMSC.

Residents as far away as Malaysia, including the capital Kuala Lumpur, said they felt light shaking. "I felt it lying in bed. The bed was mildly shaking," a resident in Kuala Lumpur told EMSC. Two other residents in Kuala Lumpur gave similar accounts.

There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

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.

In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 tremor, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, struck off the west coast of Sumatra, unleashing a massive tsunami that struck scores of countries in the region and killed at least 227,898 people.






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