A massive earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia and the surrounding regions and has led to tsunami warnings all nearby coastal countries.
Reports said the quake was in roughly the same area as the monster 9.1-magnitude tremor on 26 December, 2004, which sparked a tsunami that killed about 230,000 people across 13 countries bordering the Indian Ocean, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.
According to Indonesia's disaster management agency, electricity supplies were down and roads were blocked by traffic as residents fled to higher ground for safety.
India Today reports that the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami watch for 28 countries including Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Iran, Madagascar and Singapore.
India has also issued tsunami warnings, reports said. The First Post reported that India's tsunami warning center said waves measuring up to six metres high were expected along parts of the east coast, which was heavily hit by the 2004 tsunami.
Smaller waves were expected to hit the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands, where evacuation drills were being ordered.