The Indonesian island of Sumatra was slammed by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, followed shortly by a 6.0 aftershock. The event was felt in Malaysia and Singapore, hundreds of miles away. Authorities were scrambling to cope with downed communication lines, overwhelmed hospitals and shattered buildings. A government official put the death toll at 70 so far.

The quake was a terrifying reminder for Indonesians of the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people — 130,000 in Sumatra alone.


BBC:

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 6.3, and was centered near the town of Padang.

There are fears the death toll may be higher as communications with remote regions have been cut.

The quake struck at 10:49 [a.m.] local time (0349 GMT), causing panic among residents in western Sumatra.

A strong aftershock — magnitude 6.0 according to the U.S. Geological Survey — struck two hours later, causing further damage and panic.

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