On Monday, April 4, Sumatra Island, known for being prone to earthquakes, experienced a severe earthquake of 7.3 magnitude, which prompted Indonesia’s geophysics agency to issue a tsunami warning. Several smaller aftershocks, measuring around 4 magnitude, were recorded afterwards.
The epicenter was reported to be located off the western shore of Sumatra. Indonesia reports frequent earthquakes because of its geographical location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a seismically active zone where different plates of the earth’s crust meet.
The tsunami warning urged local authorities to immediately ensure the evacuation of residents of the affected area away from the shore. Hours later, the tsunami warning has since been lifted.
The quake hit at about 3 am local time at a depth of 84km, according to Indonesia’s geophysics agency Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika (BMKG).
In West Sumatra’s capital Padang, the quake was felt strongly. The locals were moved away from the beaches, according to BMKG spokesperson Abdul Muhari, who reportedly himself was in the area.
“People left their homes. Some were panicking but under control. Currently some of them are evacuating away from the sea,” he said.
The footage on Indonesian media channels posted on social media showed some Padang residents evacuating by motorbike and on foot to higher ground.