(Padang) A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck off Sumatra in Indonesia on Tuesday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), forcing its inhabitants to seek refuge in the heights before the tsunami warning is issued. lifting.
The epicenter of the earthquake, which occurred at 3 a.m. local time on Tuesday, was detected near the coast of the Mentawai Islands at a depth of 15.5 kilometers, the US geological agency said.
No casualties or significant damage were reported.
“The earthquake was so strong that we had trouble getting up and getting out,” said Patriz Sanene, a 34-year-old resident of Siberut, the largest of the Mentawai Islands. “We had a hard time getting out of the house, we had to cling to the walls. »
“This is the strongest earthquake […] of this year. I thought there would probably be a tsunami. Thank God there was no tsunami,” he blurted out.
The Indonesian Geophysical Agency (BMKG) issued a tsunami warning that lasted about two hours, after initially reporting a larger magnitude quake.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.
The deadliest earthquake in Indonesia, which occurred off Sumatra on December 26, 2004, killed more than 230,000 people as far away as Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. It had caused gigantic waves, up to 30 meters high on the shore of Banda Aceh, in northern Sumatra. It was magnitude 9.1.