A powerful earthquake shook western Indonesia for the second straight day Thursday, collapsing buildings in one coastal city and triggering a tsunami warning, meteorological agencies said. It could also be felt in neighboring Singapore, causing high-rises to sway.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the tremor had a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 and was centered 115 miles southeast of Padang, on Sumatra island, at a depth of six miles.
"Many buildings collapsed after this morning's quake," Fauzi Bahar, the governor, told El Shinta radio. "We're still trying to find out about victims.
The same area was rattled by another massive quake hours earlier, collapsing buildings, killing at least five people and sending scores to hospitals. Nations as far away as Africa put coastal areas on alert after Wednesday's jolt, but only a small tsunami hit Sumatra, the island ravaged by the 2004 tsunami disaster.
Frightened people fled their homes and ran inland Wednesday, fearing a repeat of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that struck a dozen nations around the Indian Ocean, killing an estimated 230,000 people.
"Everyone is running out of their houses in every direction," Wati Said reported by cell phone from Bengkulu after Wednesday's 8.4 magnitude quake. "We think our neighborhood is high enough. God willing, if the water comes, it will not touch us here ... Everyone is afraid."
One witness, Budi Darmawan, said a three-story building near his office fell. "I saw it with my own eyes," he told El Shinta radio.