April 6th, 2010
09:28 PM ET

7.7-magnitude quake strikes Indonesia

[Updated at 9:50 p.m.] Read the full CNN.com story

[Updated at 9:18 p.m.] The tsunami watches have been canceled for "all areas of the Indian Ocean," according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

[Updated at 9:12 p.m.] Residents in Banda Aceh said they were without power.

Residents in coastal towns fled inland to higher ground just after the quake, according to a local radio station.

The tsunamis, in Banyak Island and Teluk Dalam, were small and not dangerous, measuring just under a foot high, said Fauzi, chief of the Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysics Agency. Fauzi goes by only one name, which is common in Indonesia.

[Updated at 8:20 p.m.] The quake triggered two tsunamis, according to the Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysics Agency.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The initial shaking, which reportedly lasted for at least three minutes, prompted scores of people to run out of buildings into open air, witnesses said.

"The quake was felt quite strong, maybe about three four minutes," said Dadik, the head of Simeulue police who goes by only one name. "I've ordered my staff to check if there's any damage or casualties, but apparently no damage reported so far."

Measurements of sea levels indicated that tsunami waves "may have been  destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter," the Pacific Tsunami  Warning Center said.

One registered tsunami measured close to a foot from peak to trough and  was considered a small tsunami, said geophysicist Gerard Fryer with the Pacific  Tsunami Warning Center.

Indonesia announced the tsunami warning quickly, Fryer said, and  officials at Indonesia's Meteorological and Geophysics Agency lifted it about  two hours later.

[Updated at 7:50 p.m.] The depth at which the earthquake struck has also been changed. The USGS has revised the depth to 19.3 miles. It was previously reported to be 28.6 miles.

[Updated at 7:42 p.m.] A 9.1-magnitude underwater earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra in 2004, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in 14 countries.

The tsunami, which washed away entire communities, caused nearly $10 billion in damage and more casualties than any other tsunami in history, according to the United Nations. Indonesia was among the hardest hit nations.

Did you feel the quake? Share you story through iReport.

[Updated at 7:38 p.m.] The USGS has downgraded the earthquake to magnitude 7.7. The temblor struck 125 miles from Sibolga, situated on Indonesia's Sumatra island.

[Updated at 7:29 p.m.] CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers talks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the number of earthquakes that have occurred recently.

[Updated at 7:16 p.m.] CNN's Lisa Sylvester has some of the early details about the quake.

[Updated at 7:07 p.m.] Scientists are monitoring data from ocean buoys to determine whether the earthquake already generated a tsunami, said geophysicist Gerard Fryer of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

If a tsunami does erupt from the quake in shallow waters, Fryer said, it would be very small and not move much water.

Scientists said they do not expect the tsunami to affect the west coast of North America.

[Updated at 6:47 p.m.] The temblor struck 145 miles off the coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia, at a depth of 28.6 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

A "destructive widespread tsunami" is not expected, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, but a local tsunami could affect coastal areas near the quake's epicenter.

[Updated at 6:41 p.m.] A local tsunami watch has been issued for Indonesia and surrounding areas.

[Posted at 6:35 p.m.] A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck northern Sumatra, Indonesia, early Wednesday according to the U. S. Geological Survey.

- CNN's Augie Martin and Andy Saputra contributed to this report.

soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. HootHoot

    I feel like there's a minimal amount of information here with lots of confused babbling (did he really say 26 feet deep?).

    April 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    earthquakes are good because it means that the plates are releasing energy. Whats bad is when theres no eathquakes for long periods, and the energy builds up until theres one MASSIVE earthquake. Gradual release in the form of these somewhat small quakes is comforting.

    So if this one ends up causing no deaths then its a great thing. Otherwise somewhere in the future it may have ended up much worse

    April 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. M.A.C

    This is so sad. Hopefully nobody was hurt. Since the Haiti earthquake everybody has started noticing all of these other earthquakes? They happen all the time. Yes, they can be very devastating, like the Haiti one but no need to get scared, it only comes natural to earth. Hopefully everybody is okay.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Me, Myself and the earthquakes

    I don't understand why people are so hung up on the 2012 fallacy. What makes you think we're even going to make it to 2012? Anyways, there is no way science as it is, that can actually predict such large, and destructive event. Never have, and never will.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. xs10tl

    Let's try to remember, folks, that earthquakes are a naturallly occurring phenomenon here on our planet. They have always occurred, since way before we evolved into our present state, and always will, long after we are gone.

    If you understand basic geology, ie how the Earth's plates push against each other, build up pressure, and release it, you understand that an earthquake happening on one part of a plate will likely affect other occurrences on other parts of the same plate, and even on different plates as they move and shift. Just like everything else on our planet, earthquake occurrences are cyclical.

    When it comes to earthquakes:

    The date is irrelevant.
    The year is irrelevant.
    The coming years are irrelevant.
    The past years are irrelevant.
    The weather is irrelevant.
    Global warming is irrelevant.,
    The alignments of the sun, moon, and stars are irrelevant.,
    The number of cornflakes in your breakfast bowl is irrelevant.,
    The ramblings of whatever prophet / seer / lunatic is du jour at the moment, are IRRELEVANT!
    This list of irrelevancies could go on for much longer, but I think you get the picture. 🙂

    The Earth's crust moves over the mantle regardless of whether we are here or not. It has for 3.5+ BILLION years, and will continue to do so.

    I continue to be amazed at the level of ignorance of basic science there is in this country!

    April 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. avrPhreaque

    Tectonic plates are *ALWAYS* in motion. There will be no "settling" of the plate motion. Over large spans of time, tectonic activity is relatively stable...over shorter periods of time, it appears that there are peaks and valleys in the activity. We appear to be moving int he direction of a peak.

    There is no "war of nature," nor any form of intelligence involved in these activities. It is just the planets work, get used to it.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chris

    mother nature is about to put a hurt on mankind for past present and future environmental crimes against her please conservatives go on fox news and say this a hoax also the mine in WV that collapse was result of mother nature too mankind keep underestimating her power

    April 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. alex

    i believe its the planet's alignment

    April 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jonathan Dough

    There shall be earthquakes in one place after another, and then the end will come.

    Matthew 14:7
    Luke 21:11

    April 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wahyu Kurniawan

    I hope that the tsunami did not happen again in my country, Indonesia.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ayesha

    hi am from maldives me & my friends kept the shaking too.. its was arround maldives time 3:35 am

    April 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. firushan

    i got two call from my guest... they feel earth queak....... but i dont feel it...........

    April 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lynn

    Laurence is right. The earth is fluid and the plates have to shift in order to relieve pressure. Unfortunately, people live in some of these places and suffer the effects. No one is immune to this possibility. We should all be prepared to help ourselves and our neighbors in any way we can...and to ask God for His help in the midst of the suffering...

    April 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jan

    Is Our Government doing this? I heard that they can cause earthquakes to happen intentionally, i believed it is called the HAARP project or something like that. Has anyone heard of this, and does anyone believe that Scientists are behind these earthquakes?

    April 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. naidu A

    does this tremors felt on MY condo at kuala lumpur,,, malaysia,,,causes any damage that may leave the building to fall apart? wat are the signs to look for on this building? becoz everytime earthquake takes place in indonesia,,,MY building shakes wildly left to right,,,and this time the tremors was quite worst

    April 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
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