Indonesia Quake
Office workers evacuate and gather in front an office building in Medan after an earthquake struck Indonesia.

A massive earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia on Wednesday.

The quake and aftershocks from surrounding regions led to tsunami warnings for 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.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was felt in Thailand and southern Indian states and was detected 33km beneath the ocean floor and about 495 kilometres south-west of Banda Aceh but its scientists have ruled out any tsunami.

Latest Updates:

  • According to a Guardian report, there have been five casualties and one serious injury reported in the aftermath of the quake and its aftershocks. Apparently two people died because of heart attacks and one other because of shock. A child has been critically injured after a tree fell. No further details are available.
  • Indonesia has lifted the tsunami warning, according to Sri Woro Harijono, the Head of Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, on an official visit has been quoted by the Telegraph as offering support from the UK at this tragic time. "Britain of course stands ready to help if help is required. We will stand with your people and government in this time of worry," he said.
  • India has lifted a national tsunami warning, saying the danger has now passed.
  • A report by CNN indicates that Indonesian officials have said about 14 aftershocks have rocked Indonesia after the initial 8.6 magnitude earthquake.
  • The airport on the Thai island of Phuket has been closed, according to a Reuters report, following the 8.7 magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday.
  • The PTWC has cancelled the Indian Ocean tsunami watch. According to the terms of the report, this will be final bulletin issued by them unless additional information becomes available.
  • The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) has re-issued a tsunami watch for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and the British territory of Diego Garcia (an island in the Indian Ocean).
  • African coastal countries of Tanzania and Kenya have now issued tsunami alerts along their coastlines.
  • Three tsunamis, of up to 80cm, have hit Indonesia's coast, according to the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. According to a Reuters report, the first was one of 17cm. Victor Sardina, a geophysicist on duty at the Hawaii-based center, said the total vertical measurement of the wave, according to monitoring gauges, was 35 cm (13.8 inches), making the height 17 cm (6.7 inches).
  • The French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean has issued a medium-level tsunami alert.
  • The PTWC re-isses a tsunami warning for the Indian Ocean region after aftershocks were recorded.
  • Indonesian governmanet agency records yet more aftershocks, this time on a scale of 8.3, off the Aceh coast.
  • The Indonesian geophysics agency says an 8.1-rated aftershock, off the Aceh coast has been noted and cautions about tsunamis to follow.
  • Aftershocks, rated 8.8, are recorded and witnesses tell Reuters that sea water at Simeulue Island recedes by 10m.
  • India issues "Red Alert" for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, following the earthquake. The warning is then extended to include southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, as well as Andhra Pradesh.
  • Malaysia issues a tsunami warning along its coast and urges evacuation.
  • Indonesia reports a 6.5-magnitude aftershock.
  • The Thailand government asks citizens on the Andaman coast to move to safe areas.
  • Earthquake off the coast of the Aceh province in Indonesia. Initial readings suggest 8.9 on the Richter scale. Tsunami warnings could be issued.