Tsunami warning in 28 countries after 8.6 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 4:14:42 by

Tsunami warning has been issued to 28 countries after an earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 8.6 has hit off Aceh, triggering widespread panic as residents along coastlines fled to high ground.

The US Geological Survey said the 8.6 magnitude termer was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor around 269 miles from Aceh’s provincial metropolis.

The quake was felt in Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and India while high-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least 60 seconds.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.

A tsunami watch means there is the risk for a tsunami, not that one is at hands. An official of the at Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency quoted saying as a tsunami warning has been released for cities all along the coast of Sumatra island.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono through media delivered a message saying, “There is no tsunami reported so far, but we remain vigilant. Our warning system is working well, and I have ordered the national relief team to fly immediately to Aceh to ensure the situation is under control and to take any necessary action”.

He observed, “The situation in Aceh is under control, there’s a little bit of panic but people can go to higher ground. The electricity is down, there are traffic jams to access higher ground. Sirens and Koran recitals from mosques are everywhere”.

Offering thanks to Allah, he said there was neither human loss reported nor major damage thus far. According to the reports, patients in several countries poured out of hospitals, some with drips still attached to their arms. Electricity was briefly cut in some regions due to jolt.

The tremor was in approximately in the same area as a Dec. 26, 2004, quake of 9.1 magnitude, which sent huge tsunami waves crashing into Sumatra, where 170,000 people were killed, and across the Indian Ocean.

In all, the 2004 tsunami killed about 230,000 people in 13 Indian Ocean countries, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.

The 2004 quake was at a depth of 18 miles (30 km) along a fault line running under the Indian Ocean, off western Indonesia and up into the Bay of Bengal.

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