A tsunami watch is in effect for countries across the Indian Ocean, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Kenya and South Africa.
Wednesday’s tremor sent residents racing from their homes in panic in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. People screamed “God is great!” as they jumped into cars and the backs of motorcycles, clogging streets as they fled to high ground.
But the tremor also could be felt in Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least a minute.
Indonesia straddles fault lines that make the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.
A 9.1-magnitude quake off the country in December 2004 triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people.