Tsunami alert after quake hits off western Indonesia

Tsunami alert after quake hits off western Indonesia

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A tsunami warning was issued for the regions of West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of western Indonesia.

Australia also issued a tsunami alert for Cocos Island and Christmas Island in the Pacific and put a watch in place for the western Australian coast, including the city of Perth.

The earthquake struck at 7.49pm local time with an epicentre 502 miles southwest of the city of Padang, and 10km deep, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake was felt strongly in Padang for a few seconds, with people running out of their homes to higher ground, AFP reported.

Traffic ground to a halt and there was a sense of panic on the streets but no immediate reports of damage.

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake triggered the world's deadliest ever tsunami in 2004, killing more than 200,000 people.

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