No Tsunami? Why Earthquake Spared Indonesia Today
Quake's odd location and size make it "something new," expert says.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the first earthquake had a magnitude of 8.6 and was quickly followed by an 8.2-magnitude aftershock. In Aceh hospitals were quickly evacuated, and residents fled to high ground in cars and motorcycles and poured into the streets to search for separated family members, according to the Associated Press.
The temblors also caused several countries in the region to issue tsunami watches, but the alarm was lifted after a few hours when no serious waves were observed.
"There was a tsunami, but the waves were just below 1 meter [3.3 feet]," said Emile Okal, a geophysicist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. "That is significant, but it's not going to do much damage."