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An 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit off north-west Indonesia

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit off north-west Indonesia.  A tsunami warning has been issued.

A MAGNITUDE 8.9 earthquake struck off the western coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra today, triggering a tsunami warning, the US Geological Survey reported.  The earthquake struck at a depth of 33 kilometers, at a location about 495 kilometers southwest of Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra.  An Indian Ocean-wide tsunami warning was put in place immediately following the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

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.

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.

A tsunami watch means there is the potential for a tsunami, not that one is imminent.