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Six aftershocks hit Indonesia after powerful earthquake

Six strong aftershocks shook Indonesia in the early hours of the morning, after a massive 7.8-magnitude below-sea earthquake yesterday.

Many Padang residents fled to higher ground in fear of the potential for a tsunami Credit: Reuters

Hundreds of residents in the Sumatran island port of Padang fled to higher ground in panic after the quake, which sparked fears of a tsunami similar to the 2004 tragedy which killed more than 200,000 people.

However, authorities said there were no reports of deaths or major damage to buildings.

The National Meteorological Agency recorded half a dozen aftershocks had been felt overnight, but said they were diminishing in strength and called for calm in the face of "rumours" that another - even more powerful - quake may be on the way.

'No information on earthquake deaths', says official

There is no information on any deaths from a major earthquake that struck off Indonesia, a search and rescue official told Reuters.

It had earlier been reported that some people have been killed but how many was unknown.

But head of operations Heronimus Guru said: "Up until now, there is no information about deaths."

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Indonesia issues tsunami warning after earthquake

The earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra

Indonesia has issued a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake struck of the coast of Sumatra.

The warning is for West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh after a powerful and shallow earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday, the National Meteorolgical Agency said.

USGS originally put the magnitude at 8.2, and then 8.1, before lowering it to 7.9.

Indonesia, especially Aceh, was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

The country straddles the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.

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