Monday's 8.7-magnitude quake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island, some 75 miles north of Nias. The even-bigger quake that generated the region's devastating tsunami on Dec. 26 hit an area further northwest along the Sumatran coast.
The latest quake initially raised fears of another tsunami and sent people scrambling for high ground in several Indian Ocean countries lashed by December's killer waves, but no big waves materialized.
However, it's not over for the people of Nias Island or anyone in the region, reports Petersen, as the aftershocks continue.
North Sumatra Gov. Rizal Nurdin estimated that 1,000 people died in the latest disaster, but officials feared the number could climb to 2,000. Bodies were still being discovered in the ruins of houses and shops on Wednesday and laid out in front of churches and mosques.
Looting broke out in at least one location on Nias when men, women and children scrabbled through a two-story store and left with boxes of noodles, clothes and a television set.
"There is no water, electricity or rice. Things are getting tough, we have had no help so what can we do?" asked Marzuki Tanjung, who was not among the looters.