JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A tsunami warning has been issued for cities all along the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island following an 8.6-magnitude earthquake beneath the ocean floor. A Tsunami watch is in effect for countries across the Indian Ocean, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Kenya and South Africa.
The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday the quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 308 miles (495 kilometers) from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.
Said, an official at Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency who goes by only one name, said a tsunami warning has been issued.
Today's tremor sent residents pouring from their homes in panic in Banda Aceh. People screamed "God is great!" as they jumped into cars and the backs of motorcycles, clogging streets as they fled to high ground.
But the tremor also could be felt in Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia's west coast shook for at least a minute.
Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.
A giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, nearly three quarters of them in Aceh.