Indonesia has issued a tsunami warning after an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit off the west coast of the island of Sumatra. The quake’s epicentre was 502 miles southwest of Padang and was six miles deep, according to the US Geological Society.
It struck at around 6.50pm local time (12.50GMT) and had initially been measured at 8.2. There have been no immediate reports of casualties or damage but the National Meteorological Agency said a tsunami warning has been issued for parts of Sumatra, including West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology issued a marine warning for distant Cocos and Christmas islands, saying strong and dangerous currents were possible and people should secure boats and avoid waterfront areas.
The warning did not advise people to evacuate the islands and noted that a tsunami had not yet been confirmed. Indonesia was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region where different plates on the earth’s crust meet, creating a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.