BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Two massive earthquakes triggered back-to-back tsunami warnings for Indonesia on Wednesday, sending panicked residents fleeing to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles. There were no signs of deadly waves, however, or serious damage, and a watch for much of the Indian Ocean was lifted after a few hours.
Women and children were crying in Aceh province, where memories are still raw of a 2004 tsunami that 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.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the first 8.6-magnitude quake was 270 miles (435 kilometers) from Aceh’s provincial capital. The tsunami watch that followed from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii advised countries all along the rim of the Indian Ocean, from Australia and India to as far off as Africa, that a tsunami could be generated.