Powerful earthquakes struck Indonesia for a third day, terrorizing thousands of people who were refusing to return to coastal homes in fear of tsunami and falling debris. Seismologists warned the worst may be yet to come.
Experts have been predicting a repeat of the monster temblor that triggered the 2004 Asian tsunami, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen nations. American Kerry Sieh, who has spent decades studying the fault along Sumatra island, said the new jolts could be leading up to the big one.
"No one can say whether it will be in 30 seconds or 30 years," he said, adding the recent developments made him nervous. "But my intuition tells me it will be sooner rather than later."
The 8.4-magnitude quake that shook Southeast Asia on Wednesday has been followed by dozens of strong aftershocks that have killed at least 13 people, damaged hundreds of homes and churned up a 3-meter-high tsunami. Magnitude 7.8 and 7.1 tremors Thursday were followed by a 6.4 on Friday.