Two powerful earthquakes in Indonesia have caused widespread panic and fears of tidal waves. The epicentre of the first was under the sea off the province of Bengkulu. It was measured at 8.4 on the Richter Scale and led to tsunami warnings throughout the Indian Ocean region.
At least nine people died in the first quake and hundreds more injured. The city of Padang on the west coast of Sumatra was described as being in chaos, with people fleeing for high ground. A wave of about a metre was recorded, but two hours later the alert was rescinded. But a second tremor, rated at around six, forced renewed tsunami fears.