PADANG, KOMPAS.com – A 5.8 Richter scale earthquake in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra has triggered a tsunami siren that caused mass panic in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra on Wednesday.
No injuries were reported in the tremors, which has its epicenter offshore in the Mentawai Islands regency.
Witnesses at Agam regency panicked at the sound of the alarm, which was installed near a state high school. The device triggered a stampede among locals scrambling for safer ground
“The sound of the tsunami siren panicked me, especially when the earthquake occurred,” said Roni, a resident of the Tanjung Mutiara district. “I actually thought that a tsunami would genuinely occur.”
However, Regional Board for Disaster Management [BPBD] Secretary Agam Hardoni acknowledged about the activation of the tsunami siren. “The siren sounded because the cable shook from the [earthquake’s] vibration,” he said.
“The siren is one of nine in the area, one of which is from the West Sumatra provincial administration while the rest are from the [Agam regency]. If a tsunami occurred, then all nine sirens would have sounded. ”
In the West Sumatra provincial capital Padang, the strong tremors from the earthquake caused a number of patients from the M. Hospital to scramble out of the medical facility.
“The patients who ran out are outpatients from the polyclinics on the hospital’s ground floor,” said M. Djamil hospital spokesman Gustavianof.