Big earthquake hits Sumatra - Tourism Indonesia


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Big earthquake hits Sumatra

A powerful quake measuring 7.9 struck near Indonesia's Sumatra island on Wednesday triggering tsunami warnings in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka, officials said.

Indonesia's Global TV reported that several buildings in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra had collapsed, while Metro TV reported that some buildings had caught fire.

Indonesia's Meteorological agency said via an sms alert that the earthquake's epicentre was 159 km southwest of Bengkulu, which is in south Sumatra.

Residents in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand also felt the quake and some buildings were evacuated, which struck at just after 6 p.m.

Budi, a police chief in Bengkulu, said on Indonesia's Elshinta radio that he felt a strong quake. "People panicked and tried to save themselves," he said.

He added that he heard a report that a three-story building had collapsed.

One resident in Bengkulu told Reuters that it was difficult to assess the damage because there had been a blackout.

"There's a blackout. The quake was very strong and I rushed out of my house. I don't know if there's any damage because it's dark," Edi Santoni, 38, told Reuters by phone.

Widyastuti, a 23-year-old IT worker in Jakarta who was in one of Bank Indonesia's offices in central Jakarta, said: "After praying I felt the earthquake. I panicked, threw away my shoes and ran through the emergency exit."


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