Heavy earthquake hits Sumatra, Indonesia

A heavy, 7.8 magnitude earthquake has struck near Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, the US Geological Survey reports. It had a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter Scale, although its original intensity was measured at 7.6.

According to the USGS, the tremor, which began at 05.15 local time (UTC 22.15 UTC) had a depth of 46 kilometres (28.6 miles) and was 230 kilometres (145 miles) southwest of of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake was originally reported as having a magnitude of 7.6, but was later determined to be 7.8.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that local tsunami watch was in place for Indonesia.

“A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data,” although “there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts”, the centre said. According to the centre, any such tsunami would affect an area no further than 100 kilometers away from the location of the quake.

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