Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Indonesia was hit by a massive 8.9 earthquake off the western most Aceh province.
People tweeted tremors were felt in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and as far west as India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least a minute.
A tsunami warning has been issued. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for the densely populated nations of Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the powerful quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 308 miles (495 kilometers) from Aceh’s provincial capital.
In the city of Banda Aceh, terrified residents screamed as they jumped into cars and the backs of motorcycles, clogging streets as they fled to high ground.
There were also reports of the water level dropping in the Thai resort of Phuket – a sign that the sea is drawing back in preparation to launch an enormous wave.
Buildings shook for four minutes and there were reports of people jumping from windows in a desperate attempt to escape.
On Dec. 26, 2004, a giant 9.1-magnitude quake off Indonesia triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people.