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. Debbie

    This is really getting to be scary. I hope everyone is ok....they have suffered enough already.

    Enjoy each minute you have -we never know if another minute is coming....

    April 6, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    There is more attention now than ever on earthquakes. Technology has allowed more people to know when earthquakes occur. They are not happening more frequently than in the past, technology has just made it easier to communicate when they occur.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cathy

    I know it seems like there are quite a few earthquakes lately, but there are, literally, millions of quakes every year. Hundreds out of those millions are large enough to cause serious damage if (IF) they are near populated areas; we live on a very earthquake prone planet. I think we are getting more reporting of quakes. I highly recommend the USGS website for further info.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Twi-Mom6

    The earth will be in commotion before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ returns. This is just another one of the "signs of the times".

    April 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tony

    More water in the oceans from melting ice caps adding stress to the tectonic plates from the increase in weight per square mile? OR, maybe the crab people who live in the center of the earth are angry.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. miiket239

    are the poles gonna shift or what?!?!?!

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

    it's just a part of nature..2012 is bs.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DAN

    the bible said there would be more and more earthquakes in the last days. i pray that these quakes get peoples attention and they turn to God: the God of the Holy Bible. God is longsuffering and wishes that all be saved. we haven't seen anyting yet.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Diedra

    Doc Brown's flux capacitor is the culprit! Actually, Indonesia is part of the circum-Pacific seismic belt. Plates are under a great deal of tension, and as tension is released (earthquake) it sets up a chain reaction. Its a natural occurrence.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. El Mero Mero

    Read the history on the Aztek calendar......it's coming to the end, this is how it starts and by 2012 there won't much left.

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

    It seems to me that we are having more large earthquakes these days than we used to. Is this true? If so, what could be causing it?

    I dont think we are having MORE, just that people now live in remote places that used to get lots of earthquakes but with no residents, nobody knew. If a quake happens and nobody is there to feel it, did it happen? Of course!

    April 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Peter

    The United States is clearly testing their new earthquake weapon. It appears to work anywhere in the world. Next, we are going to see world leaders succumb to the threats of this new earthquake ray gun from outer space. Either that or aliens.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dalow

    Sunday evening in LA Dr. Lucy Jones of USGS at CalTech in Pasadena informed un in a TV news conference that world-wide they detect many 'quakes of large magnitudes in isolated areas. However she noted that recently such activity has been closer to inhabited regions, thus getting more attention. She said that, in fact, we've had fewer 'quakes than in the previous year. (Or words to that effect.) And, BTW, the 2012 myth is still a myth.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. anserq

    Weird! This is just weird getting too common to hear about earthquakes :S

    April 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Justin

    It seems like things aren't really different than any other year. There's certainly more reporting on it these days though. There were 16 7.0-7.9 earthquakes last year and 142 6.0-6.9 earthquakes.

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