PADANG, Indonesia &

Indonesia was shaken today by four powerful earthquakes in less than 24 hours, and survivors described watching in horror as the ocean retreated and raced back to shore as a 10-foot-high tsunami.




Hundreds of houses were destroyed in Wednesday's quake that sent panicked residents fleeing to the hills. At least 10 people were killed.




The most powerful quake today was one registering a magnitude of 7.8, the U.S. Geological Survey said.




Several tsunami warnings were issued throughout the day, including one after a 6.2-magnitude quake at 11:09 p.m. (12:09 p.m. EDT) that was centered 166 miles offshore from the island of Sumatra, 34 miles beneath the ocean floor, the USGS said.




Wednesday's 8.4-magnitude quake that first shook Southeast Asia 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.