Indonesia Quakes' Toll: 5

Disaster officials relieved no tsunami struck
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2012 7:30 AM CDT
Indonesia Quakes' Toll: 5
An Acehnese woman checks her mobile phone as she and her baby evacuate to higher ground after a strong earthquake was felt in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Sumatra island, Indonesia, April 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)

(Newser) – Indonesian disaster officials are relieved that more did not die in yesterday's two big earthquakes, which did not trigger a tsunami. The five deaths are being blamed on heart attacks and shock, the BBC reports, and only a handful of people were hurt. After an earthquake in the same province, Aceh, triggered a tsunami in 2004, 70,000 were killed. The difference? In 2004, one tectonic plate slipped underneath another, whereas yesterday the plates rubbed against each other along their sides, scientists explain, so far less water was displaced.

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One consequence of the quakes: 49 inmates managed to escaped from jail amid the post-quake confusion. As police search for them, most communities are returning to normal. Meanwhile, the slew of quakes continue: Early today, another temblor shook Baja California, though the 6.9 shaker did not trigger a tsunami warning, the Los Angeles Times reports. The same region of Mexico also felt a 6.2 quake just nine minutes earlier. Yesterday, Mexico City and the Oregon coast were both hit by earthquakes. (Read more Indonesia stories.)

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