Earthquake Strikes Sumatra Indonesia

Indonesia’s Sumatra Island was rattled by a magnitude-6.5 earthquake on Friday, forcing residents in coastal communities to seek higher ground for fear of tsunamis. Reports said the temblor’s epicenter was recorded about 6 miles beneath the Indian Ocean bed and 74 miles off Pegai Selatan. Local officials said no casualties or damage have been reported although residents panicked when the quake struck.

Residents who left their homes near the coasts were instructed to return after authorities announced that the temblor would not cause a tsunami. The Sumatra quake comes as strong aftershocks continue to be felt in Chile and just days after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Southern Taiwan.

Sumatra had been the site of several strong earthquakes in the past. In 2005, around 1,300 people were killed when an 8.7-magnitude temblor hit the island of Nias. In September last year, a magnitude 7.6 quake caused the death of more than 1,000 people. However, the island is most famous for the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman quake, which caused the Indian Ocean tsunamis that led to more than 200,000 deaths in several countries.