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:
— Naimah (@NaimahLutfi) April 11, 2012
— Prissillya Djuntak(@prissildjuntak) April 11, 2012
Tsunami warning has been issued for the entire Indian Ocean area after the earthquake. Be with us, God.
— Ǥitta Ƴunanda ✪ (@Gittayunanda) April 11, 2012
Some Twitter users reached out to anyone who was in the earthquake zone:
Aceh, Sumatra, fellow Indonesians along southern coastal areas, please be safe.. #PrayForSumatera
— tita larasati (@LarasaTita) April 11, 2012
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:
The 2004 quake that caused the Indian Ocean tsunami was a bit stronger, closer to shore (100 miles) and same depth: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indi…
— Andrew R.C. Marshall (@Journotopia) April 11, 2012
The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami took out the Systems that kept Wastewater from Contaminating Fresh Drinking Water pithocrates.com/2012/04/10/wel…
— PITHOCRATES (@PITHOCRATES) April 11, 2012
RT Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says tsunami warning in effect for whole Indian ocean. List of countries affected: ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?…
— Ms. Lee (@ilovecilenylee) April 11, 2012
— ★ Sam Insanity ☆ (@SamInsanity) April 11, 2012
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:
Tsunami Alert was also issued.. Yaallah please save our people in Sumatera Island! ;’) #PrayForSumatera
— Music Of Afgan (@MusicAfgan) April 11, 2012
#prayforsumatera my deepest prayer goes out to everyone there.
— hocuspocus♥. (@bleergh_) April 11, 2012
— Desartika Hamid 하미드 (@desarIreland) April 11, 2012
hey everyone! Please #PrayForSumatera ! there’s also a tsunamiwarning for everycountry across indianocean..
— arren celis (@JDB_Luv_ME) April 11, 2012
Is there really gonna be a tsunami in SG? Will it be like the Japan one? I pray hard, that it won’t. #PrayforSumatera
— wanna be cheyenne.♚ (@KimChiaIsMyStar) April 11, 2012
Some were praying for family members in the affected area:
Either way, #prayforsumatera. My grandma and our successful factory are there.
— kerrin (@Kerrinfernanda) April 11, 2012
— Ladisa Anindya P. (@dd_nind) April 11, 2012
— MYNAME INDONESIA (@mynameIND) April 11, 2012
#prayforsumatera Seriously, i’m panic right now. My family and friends are there right now. Hope they’re okay. Amin
— Anshar Munarfa (@ansharze) April 11, 2012
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:
PTWC update: Small #tsunami up to 0.31m generated as of 0956UTC
— Sudara Madushan (@madushan92) April 11, 2012
— Julian Gan (@tmjulian) April 11, 2012
There are, however, reports of people moving to higher ground after feeling the tremors:
SA man on holiday in Phuket tells EWN that he felt the quake and locals are anxious and heading for higher ground. #Tsunami
— Mandy Wiener (@MandyWiener) April 11, 2012
— Sari Setiogi (@setiogi) April 11, 2012
Users also noted that warnings were causing panic in Thailand and Indonesia:
— Arvind Krishna (@Arvindkrsna) April 11, 2012
— Talal J Al-Tamimi (@TalalQatar) April 11, 2012
— Tαnyα™ S. (@tanyasuvadee) April 11, 2012