8.7 magnitude earthquake hit the west coast of Northern Sumatra
Tsunami warnings and evacuation orders cancelled for most of the Indian Ocean region
Original, timely global, travel, tourism, business news and research:
Apr 11, 2012
eTN Exclusive: Unique and original, timely, global breaking news:
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center eliminated all regions in Africa, including the Seychelles, La Reunion, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Iran, UAE, Yemen, and Comores from their tsunami warnings.
Sri Lanka reported no wave; Thailand experienced some smaller waves, but no major damages.
Originally, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued an urgent tsunami watch for coastal regions in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Madagascar, Iran, Uae, Yemen, Comores, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, South Africa, and Singapore.
This alert was issued after a 8.7 magnitude earthquake hit the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday. An after shock measured 8.2 was recorded hours later.
The quake struck 308 miles southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, at a depth of 20.5 miles, the US Geological Survey said.
According to the Jakarta Post, the first tsunami waves were expected to hit Sumatra at 1621 hours local time (1021 GMT). Indonesia issued a tsunami warning Wednesday.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that there was "no tsunami threat, although we are on alert" in a televised speech from the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon, according to Reuters.
The earthquake's sideways motion in Sumatra make a tsunami less likely, Bruce Presgrave of the United States Geological Survey told the BBC.
“We can’t rule out the possibility, but horizontal motion is less likely to produce a destructive tsunami,” the BBC reported him saying.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged Britain's support to Indonesia in the wake of an earthquake off Aceh province, as he visited Indonesia.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Indonesian President in Jakarta, the Prime Minister said Britain "stood ready" to help in any way necessary.
He arrived in Indonesia Wednesday morning but reports suggest the 8.9 magnitude earthquake was not felt in the capital.
Mr. Cameron said he was "hugely concerned" by news of the quake, telling Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: "Our thoughts should be with those who are affected."
Said an official at Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency who goes by only one name, a tsunami warning has been issued for Aceh, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, Lampung, and Bengkulu. The tsunami was expected to reach Aceh at 4:31 pm.
According to Metro TV, traffic was chaotic Wednesday afternoon in Banda Aceh, as people fled coastal areas for higher ground in the east. Power and Internet was reportedly down in the provincial capita.
In Padang, hospitals were reportedly evacuating patients from the building.
The quake was felt as far away as the Thai capital, Bangkok, and in southern India, residents said. Hundreds of office workers in the Indian city of Bangalore left their buildings, workers there said.
The quake was in roughly in the same area as a December 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 along a fault line running under the Indian Ocean off western Indonesia and up into the Bay of Bengal.
The quake was also felt in Sri Lanka and the southern Thai holiday island of Phuket, both of which were hit hard by the 2004 tsunami.
Thai Meteorological Department deputy chief Somchai Baimoung said there was no tsunami warning yet in Thailand. Provincial officials along the Andaman Sea coast were preparing for possible evacuation if necessary
The latest bulletin reads:
SEA LEVEL READINGS INDICATE A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. IT MAY
ALREADY HAVE BEEN DESTRUCTIVE ALONG SOME COASTS.
BASED ON THESE DATA THE THREAT CONTINUES FOR ALL COASTAL AREAS OF
THE INDIAN OCEAN. FOR THOSE AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES HAVE
OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS AFTER THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIME
OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN
LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO
BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE
TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE
VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST
BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.
ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS
WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL
ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.
LOCATION FORECAST POINT COORDINATES ARRIVAL TIME
-------------------------------- ------------ ------------
INDONESIA SIMEULUE 2.5N 96.0E 0912Z 11 APR
BANDA_ACEH 5.5N 95.1E 0933Z 11 APR
SIBERUT 1.5S 98.7E 0944Z 11 APR
PADANG 0.9S 100.1E 1025Z 11 APR
BENGKULU 3.9S 102.0E 1037Z 11 APR
CILACAP 7.8S 108.9E 1150Z 11 APR
BANDAR_LAMPUNG 5.7S 105.3E 1200Z 11 APR
BALI 8.7S 115.3E 1234Z 11 APR
BELAWAN 3.8N 98.8E 1326Z 11 APR
KUPANG 10.0S 123.4E 1333Z 11 APR
BALI 8.7S 115.3E 1234Z 11 APR
INDIA GREAT_NICOBAR 7.1N 93.6E 0937Z 11 APR
LITTLE_ANDAMAN 10.7N 92.3E 1015Z 11 APR
NORTH_ANDAMAN 13.3N 92.6E 1045Z 11 APR
PORT_BLAIR 11.9N 92.7E 1050Z 11 APR
CHENNAI 13.4N 80.4E 1134Z 11 APR
TRIVANDRUM 8.3N 76.9E 1204Z 11 APR
KAKINADA 17.2N 82.7E 1204Z 11 APR
MANGALORE 13.3N 74.4E 1339Z 11 APR
BOMBAY 18.8N 72.6E 1605Z 11 APR
GULF_OF_KUTCH 22.7N 68.9E 1636Z 11 APR
SRI LANKA TRINCOMALEE 8.7N 81.3E 1049Z 11 APR
DONDRA_HEAD 5.9N 80.6E 1054Z 11 APR
COLOMBO 6.9N 79.8E 1121Z 11 APR
JAFFNA 9.9N 80.0E 1235Z 11 APR
MALDIVES GAN 0.6S 73.2E 1144Z 11 APR
MALE 4.2N 73.6E 1149Z 11 APR
MINICOV 8.3N 73.0E 1214Z 11 APR
UNITED KINGDOM DIEGO_GARCIA 7.3S 72.4E 1202Z 11 APR