Based on a recent report published by Reuters, Indonesia was shaken by a 7.3 quake on Wednesday morning. The earthquake struck the West cost of Indonesia’s northern Sumatra forcing inhabitants to leave their homes in search of a safe place to hide.
Residents on the island of Simeulue thought the best thing to do when the earthquake started was to leave their buildings and to run towards higher grounds. Unfortunately, the local authorities announced that the earthquake was about to cause a tsunami, so everybody had to rush back to their homes. Some even managed to carry their belongings and to seek shelter on higher places.
According to the report of the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, no damage or casualties were produced by the earthquake. The quake first began under the sea around 1:37 am at the depth of 29 kilometres (18 miles).
Eko, a soldier who happened to be on the Simeulue shore when the earthquake started monitored the water levels because he was afraid of a tsunami. He told reporters that the water receded about a meter which is a sign that a tsunami is coming.
The epicenter of the quake was located at 423 kilometres (262 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh. The movements of the earthquake were better felt in this region and they lasted for about 30 seconds, enough to make people run outside of their homes. In 2004, the Banda Aceh area was affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami caused by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake. Back then, the authorities registered 220,000 victims.
Locals haven’t forgotten the 2004 tsunami; therefore more than 20 people climbed a bridge on Wednesday morning to see whether the water was showing signs of a similar disaster. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a press release telling people that there is a small possibility for a tsunami to take place after the earthquake. They have also registered two aftershocks of magnitude 5.4 and 5, respectively about 30 minutes and one hour after the initial quake.
In 2009, Indonesia was struck by a powerful earthquake which made 1,000 victims. Such incidents often take place in Indonesia because the country is placed on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, that is the area where continental plates meet causing high volcanic activity.