Indonesian earthquake leaves Twitter shaken, tsunami fears subside

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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:

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