Indonesian officials announced Tuesday that Monday’s earthquake off Sumatra Island killed at least 40 people and left 380 others missing. The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.5. It was later upgraded to a 7.7 magnitude. The epicenter was located 149 miles south of Padang.
Immediately after the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch, but said “a destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.” However, the earthquake did generate a significant tsunami. Witnesses reported seeing an 18-foot high wave. At least one village with about 200 residents was completely swept away. Only 40 of those villagers have been found. Residents of Mentawai Island reported seeing a nearly 10-foot high wave.
Meanwhile, officials of Java Island began evacuating villages near Mount Merapi on Monday. Volcanologists say there has been a major increase in volcanic activity at the 9,737 foot volcano over the past week and an eruption is imminent.
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