JAKARTA, March 28 (UPI) -- A massive earthquake jolted the western coast of Sumatra Monday, possibly killing as many as 2,000 people and destroying hundreds of buildings.
The tremor also produced panic across Sumatra, including the previously devastated province of Aceh, officials said.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla estimated as many as 2,000 people might have died.
A physician with Indonesia's volunteer group Mer-C said reports from volunteers on Nias island indicated approximately 300 bodies were recovered following the earthquake.
He said at least 80 percent of buildings and homes in Gunung Sitoli, the main town on Nias -- a small island off the western coast of North Sumatra -- were destroyed, while many victims were trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
The earthquake, measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale, jolted Sumatra, including the tsunami-devastated province of Aceh, about 11:09 p.m. local time, Jakarta's National Earthquake Center reported.
In Aceh, devastated by December's 9.0-magnitude earthquake-triggered tsunami, residents ran from their homes in panic.
On Dec. 26, a massive 9.0 earthquake produced a tsunami that destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and buildings, leaving more than 220,000 people dead or missing.