A powerful underwater earthquake rocked western Indonesia Wednesday, triggering a tsunami alert for countries along the Indian Ocean and sending panicked residents out of their houses. There were no immediate reports of a high waves or injuries.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.6. An Indonesian television network reported that buildings had collapsed in the coastal city of Padang, in Southern Sumatra province.
Indonesia’s meteorological agency said the quake had a preliminary magnitude at 7.6 and hit 30 miles (50 kilometres) off the coast of Padang, along the same fault line the spawned the massive 2004 Asian tsunami.
“There is a possibility of a destructive regional tsunami in the Indian Ocean,” it said in an e-mailed statement.
There were no immediate reports of a high waves.
Witnesses said residents of Padang, and other town and cities, ran out of homes and buildings in fear.
The shaking could be felt in high buildings in the capital, Jakarta, several hundred miles (kilometers) away. It was also felt in neighboring Singapore and Malaysia.