A powerful earthquake has shaken western Indonesia for the second straight day and triggered a tsunami alert that has sent jitters across Southeast Asia’s tourism industry.Southeast Asian and Indian Ocean tourism industry officials spent Wendnesday afternoon reassuring stakeholders across the globe that the quakes had not caused devastation reminiscent of the 2004 killer waves.
The latest tremor was even felt in neighbouring Singapore, where buildings swayed. The tsunami damaged hundreds of houses along Indonesia’s western coast in Sumatra and Java, sending residents fleeing by foot, motorcycle and truck
The 8.4-magnitude earthquake hit 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Bengkulu, on Sumatra island and was reported to be the world’s most powerful earthquake this year.
Thursday’s magnitude-7.8 quake also rattled the same area of Sumatra and caused extensive damage. This same island was ravaged by the 2004 quake.
A tsunami warning was issued across much of Asia and as far away as Africa.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii warned the quakes had the potential to generate a destructive tsunami along coasts within 1,000 kilometres of the epicentre.
It advised authorities to take immediate action to evacuate coastal areas.
Residents in other Indian Ocean nations also were put on notice about the possibility of tsunami waves. Most of those watches were later dropped, although a watch remained in effect for Indonesia.