Indonesia issues tsunami alert after 7.9-magnitude quake

JAKARTA, Sept 12, 2007 (AFP) – A massive 7.9-magnitude quake struck off the western coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Wednesday, prompting authorities to issue a tsunami warning, meteorologists said. The archipelago nation sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

The undersea earthquake, which hit at 6:10 pm (1110 GMT), struck in the sea some 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the city of Bengkulu, at a depth of roughly 15 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake was strongly felt in the capital Jakarta, some 600 kilometres away, with tall buildings swaying.

An official at the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said a tsunami warning had been issued.

Indonesia was the nation worst hit by the earthquake-triggered tsunami of December 2004, which killed some 168,000 people in Aceh province alone.