8.7 earthquake hits Indonesia, Pacific-wide tsunami warning issued

Indonesia’s geophysical agency has registered an 8.7 magnitude earthquake in the Aceh region, off the coast of northern Sumatra. A tsunami warning has been issued, the US Geological Survey reports.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre is monitoring the situation in the Indian Ocean.

The closest city to the quake’s epicenter, which lies 33 km beneath the ocean floor, is provincial capital Banda Aceh. With a population of over 220,000, it’s located some 500 kilometers away.

Tremors from the earthquake have been felt in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and southern India. Witnesses said on Twitter that high-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least a minute.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

In December 2004, a giant 9.1 quake triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, nearly three quarters of them in Aceh.

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