Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tsunami warning for Indian Ocean: Indonesian earthquake

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 17:12 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – An 8.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday, Reuters has reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami watch was in effect for the entire Indian Ocean and individual countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, issued tsunami warnings.

People near the coast in six Thai provinces were ordered to higher ground.

Acehnese run shortly after a powerfull earthquake hit the western coast of Sumatra in Banda Aceh on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. A massive earthquake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island, U.S. and Indonesian monitors reported, prompting an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert. Photo: AFP

The quake struck at 2:38 p.m. local time (0838 GMT) and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said soon afterwards a tsunami watch was in effect for the entire Indian Ocean. It later said the threat of a big tsunami had receded, although the warning remained in place.

"It doesn't look like a major tsunami. But we are still monitoring as tsunamis come in waves," Victor Sardina, a geophysicist on duty at the Hawaii-based institute, told Reuters.

The quake struck 308 miles southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island, at a depth of 20.5 miles, the U.S. Geological survey said.

Indonesia's disaster management agency said power was down in Aceh province and people were gathering on high ground as sirens warned of the danger.

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