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Massive Quake Trembles Northern Indonesia

May 9, 2010 — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude 7.4 rumbled Indonesia's North Sumatra province Sunday.

Indonesia was rocked for the second time in less than a month, by a massive earthquake. The trembler prompted a brief local tsunami watch--it also knocked out electricity and damaged some homes.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit 220 km southeast of Banda Aceh at a depth of 61 km. Both Indonesia and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Honolulu issued tsunami watches for the area--both were cancelled 90 minutes later.

A small tsunami wave measuring about 20 cm high was detected in the town Meulaboh, closest area to the epicentre. Local media reported the quake caused much panic throughout Aceh -- the same town that was hit hard by the earthquake that prompted the massive 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 230,000 people.

Many residents lingered outside after the tremor hit, for fear of another another one. Others fled to higher ground after hearing about the tsunami alert.

Some of the minor damages included broken windows and cracks on the wall -- but there was no effect on airport operations.

Indonesia famously sits on a series of fault lines that make the nation one of the most earthquake-prone in the world.

For more on this story and other international stories making headlines today, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Our newscast comes up at :12 and :42 minutes past each hour.

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