The U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed a magnitude 7.3 earthquake off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra region.
The quake happened in the Indian Ocean, about 420 kilometres from Banda Aceh in Sumatra. It struck at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday, local time.
Indonesia issued a localized tsunami warning following the quake. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was a “very small“ possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coastal regions up to 100 kilometres from the quake's epicentre. The warning was dropped two hours later, but still prompted fear among many coastal residents.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location in the Pacific “Ring of Fire“ -- a group of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
A massive earthquake off the coast of the country on Dec. 26th, 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed over 230,000 people.
With files from the Associated Press.