Aftershocks strike after powerful quake off Indonesia


Tremblors with magnitudes of 5.3 and 5.8 hit southwest of Sumatra Island, where a magnitude-7.8 quake resulted in tsunami warning that caused panic

By Ainur Rohmah

TUBAN, Indonesia – The morning after a tsunami warning issued following a powerful earthquake caused residents of Indonesia’s Sumatra to panic, two strong aftershocks hit west of the island.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) Agency said in a release that tremblors with magnitudes of 5.3 and 5.8. rocked the Mentawai Islands on Thursday morning.

National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Anadolu Agency that President Joko Widodo has instructed them to directly monitor the impact of the earthquakes in Sumatra Island even after the tsunami warning was lifted late in the night.

“The National Disaster Management Agency keeps on coordinating with its regional agencies in the areas along the West Sumatra coastal area such as the Mentawai islands, Nias and Simile,” he said.

BMKG said the magnitude 5.3 tremblor Thursday morning hit 716 kilometers (445 miles) southwest of Mentawai at a depth of 10 kilometers, while the magnitude 5.8 quake struck 598 kilometers southwest at the same depth — also similar to that of Wednesday night’s magnitude 7.8 incident.

The Air Force deployed a Boeing aircraft Thursday to monitor the impact of the earthquakes in Mentawai, reported.