A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Oregon on Wednesday and was followed a minute later by a smaller quake off the coast of central California, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
A strong earthquake struck a sparsely populated area in the mountains of western Mexico on Wednesday, and caused tall buildings to sway more than 200 miles away in Mexico City. People evacuated some buildings in the capital, but the city government said helicopter flights detected no signs of damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported a preliminary reading of 7.0 magnitude for the quake, but later downgraded it to 6.5.
A quake of that magnitude is capable of producing severe damage in an urban area, but this one occurred about 41 miles (65.6 kilometers) below the surface and a tremor’s power to cause damage is often dissipated when it is so deep.
Two major earthquakes struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia on Wednesday afternoon, generating small tsunamis and shaking buildings as far away as Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India, but causing little actual damage.
The first earthquake at 2:38 p.m. local time (0838 GMT) had a preliminary magnitude of 8.6 and was centered about 434 kilometers (269 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra. It struck about 22.9 kilometers (14.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Several hours later, at 4.43 p.m. local time (1047 GMT), a large aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck about 618 kilometers (384 miles) south-southwest of Banda Aceh at a depth of approximately 16.4 kilometers (10.2 miles), according to the USGS. Seismologists also reported a series of other aftershocks in the 6-range.