Indonesian authorities and the U.S. Geological Survey report a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Indonesia's Aceh Province in Northwest Sumatra at a depth of approximately five miles at about 5:03 a.m. local time on December 7. The epicenter of the earthquake was located approximately 12 miles southeast of Aceh's Sigli town in Pidie Jaya Regency. Indonesian Geophysical and Meteorological Climatology Agency have reported aftershocks and there is the potential for further aftershocks. Indonesian authorities have reported 25 deaths, 155 injuries, and 97 collapsed buildings so far. Authorities did not issue a tsunami watch or warning following the earthquake.
The Embassy urges U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to the Pidie Jaya Regency in Aceh Province. We encourage U.S. citizens in Indonesia to notify friends and family of their wellbeing and to update their status on social media. Americans who are currently in the affected area should carefully assess their surroundings and consider leaving if they do not feel safe. In the event of an evacuation, the Embassy recommends U.S. citizens to follow all instructions from Indonesian police and civil authorities. Persons with information or questions about U.S. citizens known to be in affected areas, who require assistance, please call the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta at the numbers below.
Airports in Aceh Province, including the Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Banda Aceh, remain open and airlines continue to operate on a normal schedule. A number of roads in Aceh were reported to have been destroyed and some remain closed. The main hospital in Pidie, located 90 miles east of Banda Aceh, is reportedly treating injured patients outside its main building. Water and electricity services in some areas have reportedly been interrupted, and cellular telephone networks are operating but may experience periods of overload or outage.
Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council