Updated: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 10:15:00 GMT
The worst earthquakes of all time

Western coast of Sumatra - 8.6 - 11 March, 2012



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Acehnese people run shortly after a powerfull earthquake hit western coast of Sumatera in Banda Aceh on April 11, 2012. A massive earthquake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island, US and Indonesian monitors reported, prompting an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert.

A tsunami watch was issued for countries across the Indian Ocean after a large earthquake hit waters off Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering widespread panic as residents along coastlines fled to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8.7-magnitude quake was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor around 269 miles from Aceh's provincial capital.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore. The tremor was felt in Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia's west coast shook for at least a minute.

Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center issued an evacuation order to residents in six provinces along the country's west coast, including the popular tourist destinations of Phuket, Krabi and Phang-Nga. Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity. A giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, nearly three quarter of them in Aceh.

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