Source AP ©

Three strong earthquakes jolt Indonesia in 24 hours

Three strong earthquakes jolted Indonesia in less than 24 hours, damaging hundreds of houses along the western coast and sending panicked residents fleeing to high ground.

The death toll stood at nine - regarded as low given the intensity of the tremors.

The first two quakes in western Indonesia - magnitudes 8.4 and 7.8 - were followed by a 6.2-magnitude temblor in the east, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The largest spawned three-meter (yard) high waves on Sumatra island Wednesday, and the other two Thursday triggered tsunami alerts, Indonesia's meteorological agency said.