Within 24 hours following the 8.3-magnitude earthquake that has so far claimed the lives of 119 in Samoa and American Samoa, another powerful earthquake has struck. This time registering 7.6-magnitude on the Richter scale, the powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and has so far killed at least 75 people and trapped thousands under debris and rubble, according to Indonesian officials.
The Sumatra quake reportedly sent shock waves to neighboring Singapore and Malaysia and briefly triggered fears of another tsunami for countries around the Indian Ocean. A tsunami alert was initially issued for the region, but it was called off hours later.
US Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Center geophysicist Randy Baldwin has confirmed that the Samoa and Indonesian earthquakes were unrelated. “There is quite a bit of distance separating the two different quakes, there is no relationship,” he told reporters. “It’s just a very active region all the way around the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean.”
According to Baldwin, the quake originated 31 miles northwest of the city of Padang in southern Sumatra. The area is along the same fault line that spawned the massive 2004 India Ocean tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people.
Separately, another quake has hit Peru and Bolivia. The 6.3- magnitude quake struck in the south east of Peru, close to Bolivia’s capital La Paz, the US Geological Survey reported. According to reports, the quake, fairly deep at 160.3 miles, occurred about 100 miles northwest of La Paz.