A strong earthquake hit Sumatra, causing residents in Padang, a city on the west coast, to flee to higher ground as tsunami sirens sounded off. The earthquake happened at 3 a.m. and had a magnitude of 7.3. A tsunami warning was issued but lifted two hours later. There were no reports of casualties.
Residents in Padang said they panicked when they heard the sirens and left their homes in the middle of the night. Indonesian authorities urged caution as residents returned gradually to their homes in western Sumatra after the earthquake and several aftershocks.
Indonesia experiences frequent earthquakes because it is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where different plates of the earth’s crust meet. The national disaster mitigation agency urged residents in coastal areas to stay alert and ensure that home exits remained unblocked in case people needed to rush outside again.
Several aftershocks were recorded, and some parts of the Mentawai Islands experienced power outages. The agency also reported that a tide gauge at Tana Bala island off the western Sumatra coast recorded an 11-centimetre rise in water levels after the main quake.
Padang and West Sumatra province were struck by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in 2009 that killed more than 1,100 people, injured many more and caused widespread destruction.