A magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra early Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The temblor prompted tsunami warnings throughout the region, which were later lifted.
The tremor struck at 5:15 a.m. local time and was first felt in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, one of the hardest hit areas in the Dec. 26, 2004, earthquake. That one had a 9.15 magnitude and set off a tsunami that claimed more than 200,000 lives in 2004.
The Daily Mail quoted a witness in Banda Aceh:
“People panicked and ran out of the house; it lasted almost a minute,” he said. “I saw a lot of people who live close to the sea using motorcycles to drive inland.”
The epicenter, in the Andaman Sea, was located 125 miles west of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and 880 miles northwest of Jakarta — far from Bali and nowhere near me.
So far, there have been no reported deaths, and damage has been relatively moderate.
Still, it’s a sobering thought to understrand how powerless we are in the face of natural disaster.