A massive earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering immediate tsunami warnings for the region—and fears for an area devastated by an earthquake almost eight years ago. The tsunami warnings were later lifted.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 8.6 magnitude earthquake struck 270 miles southwest of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, at a depth of 14 miles.
Two hours later, an 8.2 magnitude aftershock also struck off the coast of the Sumatra island.
According to CNN, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch for the entire Indian Ocean. According to the New York Times, the earthquake could be felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Fearful residents in Banda Aceh fled to higher ground after the quake, and several aftershocks could be felt there.
According to Reuters, power was down in Aceh province.
"The electricity is down, there are traffic jams to access higher ground," a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster management agency told the news service. "Sirens and Koran recitals from mosques are everywhere."
There were no immediate reports of damage, injuries or fatalities, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on local television.
In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people in the region.
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- Pacific Tsunami Warning Center