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. Justice

    Christ is coming soon! Ignore the signs if you want. Try to use science or vices to explain it… It has been written in The Book! Don’t be left in the cold folks!!

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

    My God! I'm scared... would be truth the Mayan theory about 2012??

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

    wow all wonderful comments. Hope for a better tomorrow and best the best today.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sarah

    I work in emergency preparedness, and I must say that all the shaking is a great advertisement to be prepared. Hope we all listen to it.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wayne

    The increase in earthquakes likely has a LOT to do with global warming. The rapid rate of glacial melting combined with increased amounts of drilling for oil and other resources changes the weight distribution on plates across the planet. Why anyone is surprised by this is the real question.

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

    In the aftermath of the massive Haitian earthquake on Jan. 12, officials have repeated the long-held opinion that "earthquakes cannot be predicted."

    That's no longer true.

    New electromagnetic techniques (EM) are detecting ominous signs of a killer earthquake's approach. American and French satellites independently detected signs of danger over Haiti three and four days before the earthquake struck, killing an estimated 200,000 people.

    Parrot, of the DEMETER program, says EM researchers still have much work to do, but he is heartened by the sea change.

    "Now the important point is that some seismologists start to discuss with us," he wrote in an e-mail.

    Meanwhile, business isn't waiting on government. Tom Bleier of Quakefinder, based in Palo Alto, Calif., says his 55-station magnetometer network along California's San Andreas Fault already has anticipated two earthquakes in the San Jose-Milpitas area.

    Doug Rekenthaler, owner of Radio-Hydro-Physics, which analyzed the data pertaining to Alaska's 2002 quake, is on the verge of launching an all-out tomography effort to image, in real time, 24-hours-a-day, the ionosphere over California.

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

    Actually the earth is not anymore unsettled than usual. These recent quakes have been just occuring in more populated areas. Read the facts at the USGS site.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Melissa

    With any luck, there will be few, if any, casualties. There have been a lot of larger earthquakes lately; however, there is no scientific evidence claiming it is the end of the world. 2012 was a movie made by Hollywood, as were many others....The Day After Tomorrow, 10.5, Armageddon, SuperVolcano, and many more. They are created for one purpose and that is to make money. While it may be a little scary these are happening so close together, it is something that has been occurring for hundreds of thousands of years. When the earthquakes and volcanoes stop, that is when we need to be afraid, as it means the earth's core has dried up.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Patty Hernandez

    I'm scared, I have a son! My thoughts go out to those in Indonesia and all the other country's affected these days. I don't want to think about 2012 or believe in it.

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

    Maybe someone should look at the oil companies pumping large amounts of water down their wells to get the oil to rise so they don't have to drill as deep. Exert enough pressure and it'll move the tectonic plates.

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

    The US West Coast needs to be on Guard they are next!

    April 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cedric

    2012, 2012, 2012...stop relying too much on what you have watched in movies...sure, earthquakes could be devastating but nothing says that all this are leading us to the 2012's thing. something devastating too had had been predicted for so many years like 2000 and 2010 for example but what happened so far? nothing that alarming...so, leave 2012 alone.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cliff

    I too hope for no casualties. While it might not be popular opinion, I believe the recent quakes are a sign of the end times as prophesied in the Bible.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tam

    Hmm... Wonder if all these quakes lately will continue to affect the earth's rotation time? Also.... Any more recent studies on the Pole Shift theory?

    April 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ivan

    what have we humans done to upset mother so much? Only war, violence, pollution, a nuke here and a nuke there.... no wonder she is pissed.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
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