An tsunami watch was issued for countries across the Indian Ocean on Wednesday after a large earthquake hit waters off Indonesia, sending residents pouring from their homes in panic.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8.7-magnitude quake was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor around 269 miles from Aceh’s provincial capital.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.
A tsunami watch means there is the potential for a tsunami, not that one is imminent.
Said, an official at Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency who goes by only one name, said a tsunami warning has been issued for cities all along the coast of Sumatra island.
The tremor was felt in Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least a minute.