An 8.7 magnitude earthquake off the west coast of northern Sumatra has led to a Tsunami warning across the entire Indian Ocean region.
The quake hit just southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra Island. According to reports, the quake was felt as far away as Bangkok and southern India.
“Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean basin,” a warning from the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
The message goes on the state that authorities should take appropriate action in response to the possibility of a tsunami.
Reports from Reuters and televised feeds from local media said that people in the immediate area were seeking higher ground, but government officials in Banda Aceh were not reporting rising waters or severe structural damage or injury. However, those reports were based on information immediately available after the quake ended, so the full extent of the quake’s aftermath is unknown.
On December 26, 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, 117,000 of them were in Banda Aceh.