USA TODAY US Edition
Quakes shake up Indonesians
Panic — but no deadly waves or serious damage
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — Two massive earthquakes triggered back-to-back tsunami warnings for Indonesia on Wednesday, sending panicked residents fleeing to high ground but causing no deadly waves or serious damage. Women and children cried in Aceh, where a 2004 tsunami killed 170,000 people in the province alone. Others screamed “God is great” as they poured from their homes or searched frantically for separated family members.
Patients were wheeled out of hospitals, some still lying in their beds with drips attached to their arms. One hotel guest was slightly injured when he jumped out of his window.
Experts said the quakes did not have the potential to create massive tsunamis because the friction and shaking occurred horizontally, not vertically.
“As soon as I discovered what type of earthquake it was ... I felt a lot better,” said Roger Musson, seismologist at the British geological survey.
The World Meteorological Organization agreed, saying communication systems set up after the 2004 tsunami appeared to have worked well.
The first quake was magnitude-8.6; the aftershock was 8.2.