7.9 Earthquake Hits Off Indonesia
A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Indonesia.
The quake was centered about 500 miles southwest of Indonesia’s Sumatra island in the Indian Ocean and was very shallow at a depth of only about six miles.
Shallower earthquakes are more likely to cause damage than deeper ones.
The U.S. Geological Service said the temblor was centered “in the ocean” at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and put its epicenter at 500 miles southwest of Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties and no immediate tsunami warning issued for the region.
Indonesia, badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 which killed 230,000 people, straddles the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a highly seismically active zone where different plates on the earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.