7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes southwest of Indonesia, tsunami alert lifted

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Jakarta, March 2: A massive earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. USGS originally put the magnitude at 8.2, and then 8.1, before lowering it to 7.9. Initially there was a tsunami warning issued but it was lifted later on.

Also read: Indonesia quake: Hit by panic, people ran to higher ground

Indonesia issue tsunami warning

Hyderabad tsunami warning centre said no warning has been issued in India yet. According to reports, the tsunami warning caused panic among villagers, who ran to higher grounds.

Australia's agency issued a marine warning for the distant Cocos and Christmas islands.

Sri Lankan media quoted the disaster management there and said there was no threat.

The earthquake was felt strongly in Padang for a few seconds.

An AFP journalist there said people ran out of their homes to higher ground. Traffic on ground came to a halt and there was a sense of panic on the streets, the journalist said.

However the USGS said there was a "low likelihood of casualties and damage".

A huge undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2004 triggered a tsunami that engulfed parts of Aceh.

The tsunami killed more than 170,000 people in Indonesia and tens of thousands more in other countries around the Indian Ocean.

(With PTI inputs)

OneIndia News

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