Large earthquake off Indonesia, prompting tsunami warning

Large earthquake off Indonesia, prompting tsunami warning

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Acehnese women hug each other and pray shortly after a powerfull earthquake hit the western coast of Sumatera in Banda Aceh on April 11, 2012. A massive earthquake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island, US and Indonesian monitors reported, prompting an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert. AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 4:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 11 at 4:36 AM

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — A massive earthquake in the waters off the Indonesian island of Sumatra has sent panicked coastal residents across the region fleeing to higher ground.

The U.S. Geological Survey puts the quake's magnitude at 8.6 and says it was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor about 270 from the capital of Aceh (AH'-cheh) province.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a tsunami watch for countries across the Indian Ocean, while Indonesia officials issued a tsunami warning for cities along the coast of Sumatra.

Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center issued an evacuation order to residents in six provinces along the country's west coast.

The shaking lasted for nearly four minutes in Aceh and led to chaos in the streets. Patients poured out of hospitals in several cities, some still attached to IV drips.

There have been several strong aftershocks.

%@AP Links

158-c-09-(Robin McDowell, AP correspondent)-"mega-stress quake would"-AP correspondent Robin McDowell reports assessments are still being done, but this earthquake may not have been as damaging as some others in the past. (11 Apr 2012)

<<CUT *158 (04/11/12)>> 00:09 "mega-stress quake would"

157-c-05-(Robin McDowell, AP correspondent)-"earthquakes in history"-AP correspondent Robin McDowell reports the quake has dredged up memories of others that caused massive destruction and death. (11 Apr 2012)

<<CUT *157 (04/11/12)>> 00:05 "earthquakes in history"

159-c-08-(Robin McDowell, AP correspondent)-"they could reconnect"-AP correspondent Robin McDowell reports the quake frightened people who lived through a 2004 earthquake-triggered tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people. (11 Apr 2012)

<<CUT *159 (04/11/12)>> 00:08 "they could reconnect"

150-a-17-(Randy Baldwin, geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey, in AP interview)-"about 20 miles"-U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin says a large earthquake has struck Indonesia. (11 Apr 2012)

<<CUT *150 (04/11/12)>> 00:17 "about 20 miles"

151-a-09-(Randy Baldwin, geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey, in AP interview)-"in the region"-U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin says officials are still gathering information on a large earthquake that has hit off Aceh, Indonesia. (11 Apr 2012)

<<CUT *151 (04/11/12)>> 00:09 "in the region"

GRAPHICSBANK: INDONESIA map with epicenter locator, Jakarta locator, lettering "8.7 MAGNITUDE" ''INDONESIA" ''Jakarta", finished graphic (11 Apr 2012)

APPHOTO TOK108: In this image made from Indonesian television TV One, people talking on mobile phones walk on a street shortly after a strong earthquake hit in Aceh in Indonesia, Wednesday, April 11, 2012. A tsunami watch was issued for countries across the Indian Ocean after a large earthquake hit waters off Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering widespread panic as residents along coastlines fled to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles. (AP Photo/TV One via AP Video) INDONESIA OUT (11 Apr 2012)

<<APPHOTO TOK108 (04/11/12)>>

APPHOTO TOK107: In this image made from Indonesian television TV One, people on motorcycles and cars flee after a strong earthquake hit in Aceh in Indonesia, Wednesday, April 11, 2012. A tsunami watch was issued for countries across the Indian Ocean after a large earthquake hit waters off Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering widespread panic as residents along coastlines fled to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles. (AP Photo/TV One via AP Video) INDONESIA OUT (11 Apr 2012)

<<APPHOTO TOK107 (04/11/12)>>

APPHOTO NY111: FILE - This satellite image released by DigitalGlobe shows an overview taken Jan. 2, 2005 of southern Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia after the Indian Ocean tsunamis. The U.S. Geological Survey said early Wednesday April 11, 2012 a 8.7-magnitude quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 269 miles (434 kilometers) from Aceh's provincial capital. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe, File) (asterisk)(asterisk) NO SALES (asterisk)(asterisk) (6 Jan 2005)

<<APPHOTO NY111 (01/06/05)>>

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