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. Robby Robinson

    With all the recent seismic activity all across the globe
    we have been constantly reassured there is no pattern developing that would give evidence of a coming cataclysm.

    I want to ask everyone
    If there was strong evidence of a "super" event
    and the USGS was indeed tracking these patterns, do you really think our government
    would let us in on it ? there would be a breakdown of civil order, looting and other egregious acts of voilence.
    There is nothing any of us can do , so it's safer for those in power to let the masses wallow in ignorance than to give them information of a possible doomsday scenario !!

    April 6, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sam

    My feeling is Alaska, Seattle or Japan is next, the plate is re-settling. A period of instability will follow.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ivan Cejas

    I would not want to live in California right now !!!! The big one is brewing!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jay

    I felt the tremor in kuala lumpur, malaysia

    April 6, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rob

    As 2012 is around the corner, if all the earthquakes around the world becomes more frequent and the intensity is larger each time, these are all warning signs that the galactic alignment in 2012 could be disastrous.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. breeze

    Ring of Fire ...it is all a chain of events kind of thing ...watch out Seattle ...when an earthquake hits ...Rainier is gonna blow it's top!

    April 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. D Black

    All these earthquakes are signs that the lord is coming soon...

    April 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. andrea silverthorne

    The practice of chemical oil recovery, called enhanced oil recovery by the fossil fuel industry, should be explored as a possible cause of the many, many earthquakes, including severe earthquakes. Afer all, there was just a trial in Switzerland of a gentleman that drill into the earth for the purpose of a thermal heat application. It was found he caused a 3.4 earthquake, and he used no water or chemicals.

    Think what the use of acidic properties such as liquid C02 and sulfuric acid, combined with huge amounts of fresh water could do to continental shelfs all over the world, and how that might create a myriad of blind thrust faults. Most wells are now very, very old. This has been going on since 1840's. Perhaps, they are now collapsing the blind thrust faults.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jen

    Earthquakes happen all the time, including strong quakes. Look at the USGS website. There is nothing out of the norm going on, the media is just reporting it more.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Caitlyn

    The Earth is nearing the center of the Milky Way. There have to be some gravitational stresses involved. If the moon's gravity causes high and low tide, this universal stress has got to have some effect on the Earth itself.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. yayinski

    the haarp project would have something in relation with the earthquakes?

    April 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lobes

    The earthquakes are being caused by the melting of the ice caps. Billions and billions of tonnes of water is flowing from the poles to the equator. This is causing different pressure zones to buckle under the new weight. Kind of like the tremors that are generated when a large new damn is built but on a global scale.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Racer X

    We are over loading this Earth, Could this be a Major Warning that we are Disrupting our own Earth little by litle???

    April 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Carlos

    Traveling in Indonesia. Fortunately, not as bad in my part of the world. hope things will be ok

    April 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Amanda Grimsley

    Not only a bunch in the past week, but since the new year...the first small one off the coast of California, and it's been non-stop ever since. Read your Bibles kids!!

    April 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
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