Indonesia Issues Tsunami Alert after 7.4 Quake

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Indonesian authorities issued a local tsunami warning on Sunday, based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake.

The strong quake struck after several smaller quakes in the region, including a 6.1-magnitude quake near Nusa Tenggara in Barat Province and three others measuring 5.7, 5.0 and 5.7, respectively.

The USGS said the quake, which struck 140 miles south of the Indonesian province of Aceh at 12:59 p.m. (1129 IST), could trigger a local tsunami.

"A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist, based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the USGS stated.

"However, there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than a hundred kilometers [approximately 50 miles], from the earthquake epicenter," the report stated.

Residents who felt the quake's tremors were frightened initially, West Aceh police chief Djoko Widodo told Reuters.

"From what I see around my office, there's no damage, but I see people running out of their houses," the police chief said. "They're still outside, afraid to go back," he said.

One official at Indonesia's quake monitoring center said the quake "could be felt quite strongly."

High-magnitude earthquakes are nothing new to residents of Indonesia's archipelago, which is situated on the Pacific Rim of Fire.

Last September, more than 1,000 people were killed by a strong earthquake in Padang.

On December 26, 2004, a 9.3-magnitude earthquake triggered an Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 220,000 people across the region, 168,000 in Aceh province alone.


Reuters contributed to this report.

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