May 6, 2021, 12.32 AM

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.”

Also read: Earthquake in Indonesia's East Java Province Kills Eight, Injures 25

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.

Also read: Death Toll From Earthquake in West Sulawesi, Indonesia, Rises to 84 

 

“However, hospitalized patients on the second, third and fourth could not be moved, so they stayed in place and are accompanied by nurses.”

The Meteorological and Climatology Agency or BMKG confirmed that the earthquake occurred off the Mentawai islands in the southern coast of Sumatra at 8:24 in the morning.

“The 5.8 earthquake did not have the potential to cause a tsunami,” BMKG Center for Earthquakes and Tsunamis Bambang Setiyo Prayitno said to the Antara state news agency. He called on the public for calm.

Indonesia sits in the so-called Indo-Pacific Ring of Fire, an area in the Indo-Pacific region that is vulnerable to volcanoes and earthquakes.

(Writers: Rahmadhani, Perdana Putra, Padang Contributors |
Editor : Aprillia Ika, Michael Hangga Wismabrata)

Sources: 

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2021/05/05/131302878/gempa-mentawai-sebabkan-sirene-tsunami-di-agam-berbunyi-warga-berhamburan

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2021/05/05/130318878/gempa-mentawai-bikin-warga-padang-panik-pasien-rsup-m-djamil-sempat

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2021/05/05/121854378/gempa-mentawai-57-m-getaran-terasa-hingga-kota-padang-ini-kesaksian-warga

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