Residents of islands west of Sumatra, Indonesia, were shaken by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, which compelled them to seek higher ground before a tsunami warning that had been in effect for hours was canceled.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake’s epicenter was located close to the Mentawai islands at a depth of 15.5 kilometers (more than 9 miles), when it struck at 3 am (2000 GMT Monday).
Neither fatalities nor significant damage were reported.
“We had a hard time getting up and moving outside since the earthquake was so severe. Patriz Sanene, a resident of Siberut, the largest island in Mentawai, who is 34 years old, described how difficult it was for them to escape the house. “We had to hold on to the walls,” he added.
“This is the year’s strongest earthquake. I assumed that a tsunami was likely to occur. Thank God a tsunami has not occurred.
Indonesia’s geophysics office (BMKG) initially reported a stronger earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 before issuing a tsunami warning that lasted for about two hours.
The head of BMKG, Daryono, who goes by one name like many Indonesians, advised people “in the potential tsunami region to remain calm and avoid the shore.”
He said, “There were several aftershocks.”
The shaking, according to the locals, awoke them and made them run outside.
Sudarmono Siribere, 35, claimed that in order to reach higher ground, he and his family “had to brave the pouring rain.”
Residents were seen fleeing on foot and on scooters while clutching umbrellas and donning raincoats in footage provided to reporters by the neighborhood BNPB rescue organization.
According to officials, the earthquake was also felt in Padang, a seaside city in western Sumatra, which is about 200 kilometers from the epicentre.
Due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a region of active seismic activity where tectonic plates clash, Indonesia is frequently hit by earthquakes.
A tsunami that resulted from a 9.1-magnitude earthquake that devastated the Aceh area of Sumatra island in 2004 killed more than 170,000 people in Indonesia.