A woman carries her baby to a safe place in Banda Aceh after a strong earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia on April 11. Reuters/Junaidi Hanafiah
A tsunami alert remains in place across the Indian Ocean after at least two strong earthquakes off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province. The first quake struck approximately 434 kilometers (270 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province.
A second quake, magnitude 8.3, occurred off the west coast of Sumatra about two hours later. Following the first earthquake, there were no immediate reports of any damage but a tsunami warning was issued and later retracted. The impact of the second earthquake is still unknown and we expect updates within the next few hours.
The Indonesian Red Cross Society and the a team from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Jakarta are on full alert and staff and volunteers from the Red Cross have been deployed across areas in Aceh and West Sumatra. The branch in Aceh has deployed teams to the streets of Banda Aceh to help people who fled their homes, many in a state of shock or panic.
The Aceh branch of the organisation also sent teams to monitor water levels off the coast of Aceh and the west coast of Sumatra. Other branches from West Sumatra have deployed ambulance and first aid teams to the affected areas, and are distributing relief supplies from the regional warehouse in West Sumatra.
The Indonesian Red Cross Society continues to monitor a number of coastal areas including South Coast and the Mentawai (West Sumatra), Simelue, Banda Aceh, Aceh Besar, Calang, Tenom and Lamno. Following the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, which killed over 230,000 people across 14 countries, the Indonesian Red Cross Society has spent considerable time and effort preparing communities for earthquakes and tsunamis.
We expect further information to come in over the next few hours and will update here as we get it.