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Indonesian earthquake leaves Twitter shaken, tsunami fears subside

An 8.7 magnitude earthquake has hit the off the coast of the Indonesian island Sumatera in the Indian Ocean. At first details were scant and there was fear that there may be a repeat of the tsunami which devastated the region in 2004. Those fears have, for now, been allayed to some extent. Twitter has, nonetheless gone into overdrive.

At one stage, #PrayforSumatera, US Geological Survey, #Sumatera, Indian Ocean, and Earthquake in Indonesia were all globally trending topics.

As soon as news of the earthquake went out, Tsunami warnings were issued:

Some Twitter users reached out to anyone who was in the earthquake zone:

Others drew parallels between today’s earthquake and the one which resulted in a tsunami that killed over 200 000 people across the Indian ocean in 2004:

Many felt that there was nothing left for them to do but pray for the people on the shorelines about to be hit by the massive wave:

Some were praying for family members in the affected area:

The prayers came from all people around the world and a variety of religious beliefs.

The quake was reportedly felt as far afield as Indonesia and Southern Thailand. According to the BBC, a spokesperson for the US Geological Survey has come out saying that this quake is less likely to result in a tsunami because it moved horizontally rather than vertically.

Despite this pronouncement, a tsunami warning remained in place, although there was some discrepancy in how big the wave would be:

There are, however, reports of people moving to higher ground after feeling the tremors:

Users also noted that warnings were causing panic in Thailand and Indonesia:

Author | Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself to be thrown in the deep and did his best stay afloat. When not fused with his keyboard, you can find him... More