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. George McGrath

    It's the solar flares. They are getting bigger and stronger. By 2012 they will be really strong that it will cause huge earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, killing most of the humans. Nothing we can do about it.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ticrak1

    I am not a huge believer of 2012 but i wouldn't call them crazy. With all this happening 2012 should be taken into consideration. The world seems to be going through some mega changes lately. My god what is next?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    Wow! That woke me up. I'm in Medan, Indonesia. I was actually supposed to be in Acheh today. No power outage or interruption here.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. foil

    nothing to worry about...when the 200 pound hailstones start falling, then you better worry.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bren

    there's been quite a few earth quakes lately and not small ones, they've been quite big, its kinda scary, now its getting to the point where it seems like there's one every few days or weeks, thats crazy and they say a major quake could hit california anytime, well i hope everyone is okay cause those people have already had to deal with so much during the last earthquake and tsunami

    April 6, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Travis

    There are always earthquakes like this, we're just having a cluster. We used to call them "swarms". The ring of fire has been calm for awhile now- it is just blowing off some steam and things are unsettled.

    Of course,. every time there is an earthquake cluster the goddites come out and blame it on the coming of Jebus, this is nothing new.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Why did Wolf Blitzer interview CNN's meteorologist? That's like going to a podiatrist for a migraine.

    The number of earthquakes is actually fairly normal. On average, there are 17 magnitude 7.0-7.9 earthquakes and this year there have been 5 so far. The Haiti earthquake was quite small (a 7.0), but Haiti is the poorest and probably most overpopulated country in the Western hemisphere, so the damage and loss of life was extensive. There were similar earthquakes to Haiti's in the Solomon Islands and Japan this year and neither made international headlines. The earthquake in Chili was very large, but there is, on average, one magnitude 8.0 or higher earthquake per year. Statistically, there is a slightly higher risk of an earthquake on adjacent faults, so Californians probably should be prepared as best as they can.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dany win

    Planning an import/export business! Start from here with ByTrade.com! A fastest growing B2B trade portal, open to FR-E-E registration!

    April 6, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. vicki

    Should we be told the truth? What's coming next?

    April 6, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Komkrit

    Keep me posted

    April 6, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nopnara

    I am going to the area on this Sunday. Should I worry about after shock ?

    April 7, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. pookie

    Lot`s of interesting info and views here. @#205....The Pacific Ring of Fire, it a falt line that runs around the entire Pacific Ocean. It indeed has been more active recently. I live in Victoria, on Vancouver Island and we had an earthquake here that was felt about a month ago. This is only the third earthquake I have felt in over 25 years.
    In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean a "backbone" runs north to south. It is called a spreading zone as magma surfaces and forces the earth crust to spread both west and east of the "backbone". In the Pacific ring of fire subduction is occuring. This is when the lighter ocean plates move and are forced to subduct under the heavier continental plates.
    So as the Atlantic spreads, the Pacific shrinks under the continents on both sides.

    April 7, 2010 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. ricky

    the 2012 movies starts this way

    April 7, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. morgan

    The notion that these earthquakes are related is ridiculous. Plate tectonic shifts only effect local faults, and a seismic event in one hemisphere cannot trigger an event in another hemisphere, it just doesn't work that way. Earthquake waves decay very quickly with distance (on the order of only a few hundred kilometers.) And in fact, earthquake data does NOT indicate that there are more earthquakes this year than in previous years, on average. The difference is that they have occurred closer to urban areas (which makes sense these areas become larger with a growing population.) In previous years, large magnitude events occurred in sparsely-populated areas so were not reported heavily in the news media (although they were recorded by the seismological community.) So reading into these events as some sort of doomsday prophecy or Biblical statement ignores basic facts about the earth's structure.

    April 7, 2010 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. abe

    If you really want to know what is happening, read the book of Mathew,and Revelations in the Bible. it is prophecy being fulfilled. Don't believe it, read it.

    April 7, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
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