JAKARTA, INDONESIA: Indonesia issued a tsunami warning on Wednesday after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.9 hit waters off westernmost Aceh province.
People on Twitter said tremors were felt in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia's west coast shook for at least a minute.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.
A tsunami watch means there is the potential for a tsunami, not that one is imminent.
The US Geological Survey said the powerful quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 308 miles (495 kilometers) from Aceh's provincial capital.
An official at Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency who goes by only one name, said a tsunami warning has been issued.
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 quarter of them in Aceh.