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Indonesia warns to stay alert after 7.3 magnitude earthquake

Residents in western Sumatra were gradually returning to their homes on Tuesday after being jolted by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake and many aftershocks, according to Indonesian officials.

The earthquake occurred out at sea about 3 a.m. (2000 GMT Monday) and caused a tsunami warning, which was removed two hours later. There were no casualties reported.

Residents in Padang, a city on Sumatra’s west coast, said they panicked when tsunami warning sirens blasted, forcing them to flee to higher ground in the middle of the night.

“We just ran because we heard there was going to be a tsunami.” “I only brought my family; we didn’t bring anything else,” Hendra, a Padang native who identifies by one name, told a reporter while in an evacuation zone.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a seismically active zone where several plates of the earth’s crust collide.

The national disaster mitigation organization warned homeowners to remain vigilant and keep home entrances clear in case they were to hurry outside again.

“Especially for people living in coastal areas, if there is an earthquake that lasts more than 30 seconds, please go to a higher place immediately to anticipate the possibility of a tsunami,” it warned in a statement.
The Mentawai Islands, which were closest to the center, saw power disruptions, according to the agency.

Several aftershocks were detected, and a tidal gauge on Tana Bala Island off the western Sumatra coast showed an 11-centimetre rise in water levels following the main tremor, according to the report.

In 2009, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake rocked Padang and West Sumatra province, killing over 1,100 people, injuring many more, and causing massive devastation.

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