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Two massive earthquakes struck off the Sumatra coast today raising tsunami alarms around the region. The first was an 8.7 magnitude at 2:38PM in the afternoon 268 miles off shore from Band Aceh. The earthquake shook building for up to 4 minutes, and sent local inhabitants running for high ground. The second quake hit only 2 hours later at 4:43PM 382 miles off shore from Band Aceh.

Both earthquake raised tsunami alarms that were later lifted. The reported waves that hit the coast were recorded at a mere two and a half feet. Alert were also issue for several nearby countries, and Hawaii.

The earthquakes left Band Aceh without any power to the city. Streets were jammed with traffic attempting to reach higher ground. Even hospital patients fled the buildings for higher ground.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity. The 2004 earthquake and Tsunami that struck about 155 mile south-southeast of Banda Aceh claimed some 227,898 people either reported killed or missing and presumed dead. It also had about 1.7 million that were forced out of their homes after the tsunami affected 14 countries in Asia and East Africa.
Not all offshore earthquakes trigger a tsunami, and it looks like this may have been one of those times. Sometimes the initial earthquake may not cause a tsunami; however, powerful aftershocks can still cause deadly waves to devastate the coastlines.

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