The world breathed a sigh of relief after the tsunami warning that was issued in the wake of an 8.7 magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday evening was lifted.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the strong tremor that followed the first quake was centered 16km beneath the ocean and around 615km from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

Although initial reports from government agencies and research institutes spoke of a tsunami, later research confirmed the quake as a "slip-strike" event, meaning it was a horizontal displacement of a tectonic plate that triggered no drastic waves; unlike the 2004 event which was an undersea mega-thrust earthquake that caused a tsunami.

Nevertheless, citizens of Southeast Asian coastal areas were understandably alarmed in the aftermath of the initial quake, which was felt in Bangkok, Rangoon, Singapore and India and was followed by a series of equally strong aftershocks, one of which was measured at 8.2.

Meanwhile, the Jakarta Post confirmed that the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) - Earthquake and Tsunami Division - was monitoring the aftereffects of the quake.

"We're keeping an eye on the movements of the plates to detect potential spots for an earthquake," the agency said, adding, "Indonesia is prone to natural disasters due its geographical position. The country's position covers a number of tectonic plates."

However, more precautions are needed, according a chief risk analyst at Jakarta-based Concord Consulting, in order to prepare for future events.

"The simple message is that in any critical condition like this, it's impossible to get everyone out in time. The tsunami alert system worked to a degree ... While awareness has improved, reinforced by 2004, it still needs to get better through public education and government campaigns," Keith Loveard told Reuters.

Check out these photographs from Indonesia's Aceh province, in the immediate aftermath of the aftershocks and the initial quake...