A series of powerful earthquakes jolted Indonesia in less than 24 hours, sending a three-meters (10-foot) tsunami crashing to shore and damaging hundreds of houses as panicked residents fled to the hills. At least 10 people were killed in the tremors, which were followed by dozens of aftershocks.
The 8.4-magnitude quake that first shook Southeast Asia on Wednesday was the strongest this year. But the huge mass of water it spawned was pushed to sea rather than land, said Mike Turnbull, a seismologist at Australia's Central Queensland University.
"It's a quirk of nature that this is how it happened," he said. "It could have quite easily have been the other way."
The three-meter (10-foot) wave slammed into at least one village on Sumatra, the island ravaged by the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen nations.