A powerful undersea earthquake that struck off the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java has killed four people and damaged hundreds of buildings, the nation's disaster agency said on Saturday (August 3).
Four people died, some of heart attack or fatigue, as people rushed away from the coastline, Agus Wibowo, spokesman of the disaster mitigation agency told a news briefing. Four others were injured, and more than 200 buildings were damaged by the quake, he said.
Wibowo urged people stay in the coastal area to be alert as he warned that a study by Indonesia's geophysics agency showed there is a potential quake of 8.8 magnitude in the area that would trigger a 20-metre high tsunami, though he added that no one can predict when it would happen. He also urged people to fix houses that had bad foundations.
Indonesia is situated on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which is frequently hit by earthquakes that are sometimes accompanied by tsunamis.