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Tsunami warning lifted after powerful earthquake strikes off Indonesia

A tsunami warning has been issued following a powerful earthquake that struck off the southwestern Indonesian coast Wednesday.
A tsunami warning has been issued following a powerful earthquake that struck off the southwestern Indonesian coast Wednesday.

Indonesian officials lifted a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra Island on Wednesday.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the shallow earthquake struck southwest of Sumatra Island just before 8 p.m. local time.

The USGS later adjusted the force of the quake to magnitude 7.9-magnitude and then to 7.8.

A tsunami warning was issued for the coastal regions. A tsunami watch was also issued for western Australia, including the city of Perth.

Australian officials cancelled the tsunami watch a short time later.

The quake’s epicentre is a shallow 10 kilometres below the ocean floor and 662 kilometres from the city of Muara Siberut.

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A resident of Sikakap in the Mentawai islands, about 720 kilometres from the epicentre, told the Associated Press the quake was weakly felt in the area but the tsunami warning caused panic among the villagers.

There’s no word of any damage or injuries.

In 2004, a major 9.1 earthquake struck 160 kilometres off the western coast of northern Sumatra, resulting in a tsunami. A total of 230,000 people were killed across a dozen countries.