LIVE BLOG: 8.7 earthquake hits Indonesia, tsunami warning issued

@saisundharp
13:07
Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancels tsunami watch for Reunion, Seychelles, Oman, Pakistan, Somalia, Madagascar
13:07
Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancels tsunami watch for Australia, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Mauritius
12:55
Fresh tremors in Delhi, Chennai; tsunami alert in Andaman & Nicobar
12:55
Myanmar issues a 6-meter tsunami warning says @mpoppel.
12:50

Simeulue Island in Aceh province still in a blackout (AJE) // Tsunami warnings downgraded for most coasts; Thai coasts estimated 10cm

12:44

UPDATE:

Two major earthquakes struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia on Wednesday afternoon, seismologists said, prompting tsunami watches and warnings for countries across the Indian Ocean.

The first earthquake at 2:38 p.m. local time (0838 GMT) had a preliminary magnitude of 8.6 and was centered about 434 kilometers (269 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra. It struck about 22.9 kilometers (14.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Several hours later, at 4.43 p.m. local time (1047 GMT), a large aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck about 615 kilometers (382 miles) south-southwest of Banda Aceh at a depth of approximately 16 kilometers (9.9 miles), according to the USGS. It followed several other smaller aftershocks in the 6-range.

It was not immediately known if the earthquakes generated a damaging tsunami, but Indonesia's seismological agency issued a tsunami warning for local coastlines for both earthquakes. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a warning, but issued an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch.

"Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may already have been destructive along some coasts," the center said in a bulletin, adding that the threat continues for all coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. It said a tsunami of 1.06 meter (3.5 feet) relative to normal sea level had been recorded near the Indonesian city of Meulaboh in Aceh.

INDONESIA

At a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron following the first earthquake, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he ordered a disaster relief team to fly to Aceh, where there were reports of some panic but no immediate reports of damage or casualties. He said there was no risk of a major tsunami following the first quake and said the situation is 'under control'.

MALAYSIA

Officials at the Malaysian Meteorological Department said they had no immediate reports of tsunami waves but a tsunami warning has been issued as a precaution for several states on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, where tremors during the first earthquake lasted for about 5 minutes. "We decided to order an evacuation along the coastal states of Penang, Perlis, Perak, Kedah and Langkawi," an official said.

SRI LANKA

The National Tsunami Early Warning Center at Sri Lanka's Department of Meteorology issued a tsunami warning for the island following the first earthquake. "As the earthquake near Sumatra island at 02:08 pm today has generated tsunami that will affect Sri Lanka, those living near and along the Eastern and Southern coastal regions are advised to evacuate to safe places immediately," the center said in a bulletin.

Indonesia is on the so-called 'Pacific Ring of Fire', an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. On December 26, 2004, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded struck off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. The 9.1-magnitude earthquake unleashed a deadly tsunami, striking scores of countries in the region, killing at least 227,898 people.

Most recently, on January 11, a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck about 423 kilometers (262 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh at a depth of about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). Tremors could be felt in Banda Aceh where residents fled from buildings and rushed to higher ground, but no tsunami was generated.

12:43
Tsunami measuring 10 cm (four inches) hits Thai coast: disaster centre
12:30
From @mpoppel: INDONESIA'S GEOPHYSICS AGENCY SAYS DETECTS RISE IN SEA WATER LEVEL IN WEST AND NORTH ACEH OF UP TO 0.8 METRE
12:19

Latest picture from @saisundharp in Chennai shows people leaving their office after another tremor felt

12:14

UPDATE:

Two major earthquakes struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia on Wednesday afternoon, seismologists said, prompting tsunami watches and warnings for countries across the Indian Ocean.

The first earthquake at 2:38 p.m. local time (0838 GMT) had a preliminary magnitude of 8.6 and was centered about 434 kilometers (269 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra. It struck about 22.9 kilometers (14.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Several hours later, at 4.43 p.m. local time (1047 GMT), a large aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck about 615 kilometers (382 miles) south-southwest of Banda Aceh at a depth of approximately 16 kilometers (9.9 miles), according to the USGS. It followed several other smaller aftershocks in the 6-range.

It was not immediately known if the earthquakes generated a damaging tsunami, but Indonesia’s seismological agency issued a tsunami warning for local coastlines for both earthquakes. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a warning, but issued an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch.

“Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may already have been destructive along some coasts,” the center said in a bulletin, adding that the threat continues for all coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. It said a tsunami of 0.31 meter (1.0 feet) relative to normal sea level had been recorded near the Indonesian city of Sabang in Aceh.

INDONESIA At a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron following the first earthquake, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he ordered a disaster relief team to fly to Aceh, where there were reports of some panic but no immediate reports of damage or casualties. He said there was no risk of a major tsunami following the first quake and said the situation is ‘under control’.

MALAYSIA Officials at the Malaysian Meteorological Department said they had no immediate reports of tsunami waves but a tsunami warning has been issued as a precaution for several states on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, where tremors during the first earthquake lasted for about 5 minutes. “We decided to order an evacuation along the coastal states of Penang, Perlis, Perak, Kedah and Langkawi,” an official said.

Indonesia is on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. On December 26, 2004, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded struck off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. The 9.1-magnitude earthquake unleashed a deadly tsunami, striking scores of countries in the region, killing at least 227,898 people.

Most recently, on January 11, a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck about 423 kilometers (262 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh at a depth of about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). Tremors could be felt in Banda Aceh where residents fled from buildings and rushed to higher ground, but no tsunami was generated.

12:00
From Blottr eyewitness in Bangalore: Fresh tremors in blore,office bldgs evacuated. #earthquake #crisismgt stay safe people
11:59
Chennai photo from @saisundharp
11:53
8.8-MAGNITUDE AFTERSHOCK STRIKES OFF SUMATRA
11:50
Govt evacuates some people from South #Andaman as a precautionary measure says Press Trust of India
11:49
@saisundharp Shares the pic below from #Chennai where in the second picture @IbrahimShoppe tweets a pic from the Maldives.
11:40
Latest picture from @NithinSR shows panic after tremors felt in Trivandrum
11:32
AFP: India issues new tsunami alert for Orissa, Kerala states
11:23

UPDATE: Al Jazeera’s Aela Callan, reporting from Bangkok:

"We are hearing in some of those southern provinces there are now tsunami alerts sounding. Thailand is quite prepared for this, they hold drills regularly. We are hearing that the tsunami could hit those provinces - there are six that have been put on alert now -it could hit anytime in the next few minutes to the next hour. "

11:17
REUTERS: TSUNAMI WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT, 17 CENTIMETRE-TALL WAVE HEADING FOR ACEH, INDONESIA-PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER
11:17
Scroll down to to see the full list of the possible countries and cities affected IF tsunami waves generate from aftermath of quake
11:10
Tsunami "less likely" because #earthquake off Indonesia moved horizontally, not vertically, USGS spokesman tells BBC World
11:09
Metro services in Kolkata suspended due to earthquake
11:06
Tsunami watch issued for the following countries (see the full list below)

Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, British Indean Ocean territories, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Madagascar, Iran, Uae, Yemen, Comores, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, South Africa, Singapore

The earthquake off the coast of Aceh has been downgraded to 8.7

11:05
REUTERS: INDONESIA'S DISASTER MITIGATION AGENCY SAYS NO DETECTION OF LOW TIDE THAT WOULD INDICATE TSUNAMI IN ACEH
11:04
New Zealand government says no tsunami threat to New Zealand
11:04
@mpoppel tweets: Thailand's TAN Network reports Phuket Airport is closed
11:04
REUTERS: INDONESIA'S PRESIDENT SAYS NO REPORTS OF CASUALTIES OR DAMAGE FROM QUAKE IN ACEH
11:04
REUTERS: INDONESIA'S PRESIDENT SAYS "NO TSUNAMI THREAT ALTHOUGH WE ARE ON ALERT" FROM ACEH QUAKE
11:03
Indonesia President at presser says no threat of #tsunami. No victims/damage reported.
11:03
USGS changes depth of Indonesia quake to 14 miles (from 20 miles)
11:03
The earthquake magnitude has changed from 8.9 to 8.7 back to 8.9 and is now 8.6 according to USGS
11:02
6.1-magnitude aftershock strikes off Sumatra say officials

A major earthquake struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra on early Wednesday afternoon, seismologists said, prompting tsunami warnings for multiple countries.

The 8.7-magnitude earthquake at 2:38 p.m. local time (0838 GMT) was centered about 434 kilometers (269 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra. It struck about 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

It was not immediately known if a tsunami was generated, but authorities in Indonesia immediately issued a tsunami warning for local coastlines as a precaution. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a warning, but issued an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch until it is known if a tsunami is generated.

"Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean basin," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin. "However - it is now known that a tsunami was generated. This watch is based only on the earthquake evaluation."

An eyewitness in Bangalore told Blottr that he felt the tremors and the building he was in "began swaying for 5 minutes."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said:

"EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE A WIDESPREAD DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI THAT CAN AFFECT COASTLINES ACROSS THE ENTIRE INDIAN OCEAN BASIN.

HOWEVER - IT IS NOT KNOWN THAT A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. THIS WATCH IS BASED ONLY ON THE EARTHQUAKE EVALUATION. AUTHORITIES IN THE REGION SHOULD TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THE POSSIBILITY OF A WIDESPREAD DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI.

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.

Tsunami information

Source: http://ptwc.weather.gov

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