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A powerful earthquake hit off western Indonesia late Monday, briefly triggering a tsunami warning that sent thousands of panicked residents fleeing to high ground. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The 7.7-magnitude temblor struck at a depth of 9 miles off Sumatra island, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
msnbc.com

Indonesia‘s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency initially issued a tsunami warning, but ended it a short while later.

At least five towns in the provinces of Bengkulu and West Sumatra were badly jolted, officials and witnesses said, as were the nearby Mentawai islands.

“Every was running out of their houses,” said Sofyan Alawi, a resident in the city of Padang, adding that roads leading to surrounding hills were quickly jammed with cars and motorcycles.

“We kept looking back to see if a wave was coming,” said 28-year-old resident Ade Syahputra.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties after the 9:42 p.m. (10:42 a.m. ET) quake, said Ade Edward, a disaster management agency official, adding that the area was still on alert for aftershocks.

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