Massive Quake In Indonesia, Tsunamis Feared

A powerful aftershock in the same area as December 26th’s devastating quake in Indonesia has set off a series of tsunami warnings and evacuations.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – A major earthquake struck off the west coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island late Monday, and officials issued a tsunami warning for as far away as Sri Lanka. Residents of Banda Aceh fled their homes in panic.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor, described by one of the agency’s geologists as an aftershock of the devastating Dec. 26 quake, measured a magnitude of 8.2.

In Banda Aceh, the Sumatran city that was hit hardest by December’s tsunami, the quake cut electricity and thousands poured into the streets, most getting into vehicles to flee low-lying areas.

Tsunami warnings were issued in Thailand, Japan and Sri Lanka. Authorities said it could take several hours to know whether the quake had generated a devastating tsunami.Let’s hope the region has it’s act together in getting warning out. Residents who felt the quake are hopefully now attune to the danger of possible tsunamis to hightail it to much higher ground.

(h/t Michael King)

Update: PunditGuy has been following the story all day, collecting news accounts. No tsunamis yet, but hundreds of buildings destroyed and possibly some loss of life in those buildings.

Update 2: Hundreds May Be Dead in Indonesia Quake [AP]

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