7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia

A large earthquake, measured by the US Geological Survey has having a magnitude of 7.2, struck near Sumatra, Indonesia earlier today.

The epicentre was 215 kilometres (130 miles) south-southeast of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, and 630 kilometres (390 miles) west of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, at a depth of 45 kilometres (28 miles), the USGS reports.

The tremors started at about 13.00 local time (05.59 UTC). A local tsunami alert was made by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, but rescinded about an hour and a half later.

“Sea level readings indicate that a significant tsunami was not generated. Therefore, the tsunami watch issued by this center is now cancelled,” the PTWC said in a statement on its website.

The epicentre of the temblor is near that of 2004’s magnitude 9.2 earthquake, which generated a large tsunami and killed around 170,000 people. Indonesia is on a very tectonically active part of the world, the Ring of Fire, and experiences earthquakes not infrequently.

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