Indonesia earthquake, Indian Ocean tsunami watch (video, tweets)

A tsunami watch was issued for countries bordering the Indian Ocean after a powerful earthquake hit off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering panic and evacuations in areas where a devastating wave struck in 2004.


An Acehnese woman with a child tries to hail a car to take her to higher ground after a powerful earthquake on Wednesday. (CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

On Twitter, people said tremors were in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and India. Buildings on Malaysia’s West Coast shook for almost a minute.

The initial tsunami alert stretched from Indonesia and Thailand to South Africa and Iran. It was later revised to an alert only for residents living along the western coast of Indonesia, and included Sumatra island and the Mentawai islands.

A tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killed more than 230,000 people. On Wednesday, that memory was still fresh as this tweet came from Phuket, Thailand:

Running for the hills again!!! 2004 all over again! Wonder if I’ll loose my house again :-( #earthquake #Tsunami

— Aj Hannah (@1_crazy_ironmum) April 11, 2012

From Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province, one man tweeted: “Banda Aceh after the earthquake. Electricity, phone and the traffic light off. #PrayForAceh #PrayForSumatra.”

Pasca gempa Banda Aceh. Listrik, telp dan traffic light mati. #PrayForAceh #PrayForSumatra yfrog.com/kg77kezj

— Medan Official (@ChristzlatosMDN) April 11, 2012

After the earthquake, strong aftershocks were felt throughout the area. One aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 shook Indonesia’s western coast. The first part of this tweet translates to: “There are aftershocks.”

Ada gempa susulan. Hope it will be okay. God, no tsunami please!!

— Adinda A Temashiera (@Temashiera) April 11, 2012

Aid groups, which saw more than $14 billion in humanitarian aid donated during the 2004 tsunami, sent tweets saying they were on the ground and ready to help:

Oxfam is there: We’re in touch w/our staff & partners in #Indonesia & #Thailand about the #earthquake; more info as we get it.

— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) April 11, 2012

Read the full story at the AP.

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