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Powerful Aftershock Hits Indonesia's Aceh Province

An 8.1-magnitude aftershock hit the southwest of Simeulue Regency of Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday evening triggering fresh panic among residents in the province.

Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the major aftershock struck at 5:43 p.m. (local time) 483 kilometers off south-west of Simeulue at a depth of ten kilometers beneath the ocean floor.

The Jakarta Post reported that the tremor was also felt in Sigli in Pidie Regency, which is situated two kilometers from Aceh's astern coast.

Meanwhile, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB)spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said according to their data the aftershock measured as high as 8.8 on the Richter scale. "This aftershock might potentially trigger a tsunami," he said and warned residents to remain alert. Residents of Simeulue immediately left the coastal areas to higher ground, the newspaper said.

Earlier, a massive earthquake with an initial magnitude of 8.6 had struck off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, triggering a tsunami alert for the entire Indian Ocean region.

The quake at a depth of 33 kilometer beneath the ocean floor, about 495 kilometer off Banda Aceh, capital of northern Aceh province, occurred at 2:38 p.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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