Powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes off of Sumatra

One of the biggest earthquakes to hit Indonesia struck off of Southern Sumatra yesterday (30 September) killing at least 529 people and seriously injuring many more.

Hundreds of buildings were destroyed mainly concentrated in three towns, Padang, Bukittinggi and Pariaman, which were closest to the magnitude 7.6 quake that was centred about 50 miles underground in the Indian Ocean. Thousands more people are feared dead or injured by collapsed buildings.

Dozens of aftershocks were recorded and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami alert for Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Thailand, but this was cancelled around an hour after the quake hit, according to a Guy Carpenter Catastrophe Report.

The earthquake destroyed hundreds of buildings, cut communications, started fires and triggered landslides, according to officials.

Padang was one of the worst places hit, around 370 people have died and a major hospital and part of the airport have been badly damaged.

Elsewhere, officials said the earthquake caused damage in the towns and cities of Bukittinggi, Pariaman, Pasaman, Solok, Medan and Bengkulu, said Guy Carp’s report.

The earthquake also shook buildings as far away as Singapore and Malaysia.