JAKARTA, Indonesia — A powerful earthquake rocked western Indonesia Wednesday, trapping thousands under collapsed buildings – including two hospitals – and triggering landslides. At least 75 people were killed on Sumatra island and the death toll was expected to climb sharply.
The magnitude 7.6 quake struck at 5:15 p.m. local time (1015GMT, 6:15 a.m. EDT), just off the coast of Padang city the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was along the same fault line that spawned the massive 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
A tsunami warning for countries along the Indian Ocean was issued, and panicked residents fled to higher ground fearing giant waves. The warning was lifted about an hour later.
When the quake struck, the ground was shaking so hard that people sat down on the streets to avoid falling over, footage shot in Padang and broadcast by local TVOne network showed.
Children screamed as residents tried to put out fires started in the quake. Thousands fled the coast in cars and motorbikes, honking horns.