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8.6 quake off Indonesia, Indian Ocean tsunami warning issued

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Laaska News  Apr. 11, 2012

by RT

Banda Aceh : Acehnese people run shortly after a powerfull earthquake hit western coast of Sumatera in Banda Aceh on April 11, 2012. (AFP Photo / Chaideer Mahyuddin) – RT

Indonesia’s Geophysical Agency has registered a 6.5 aftershock following an earlier 8.6 magnitude quake in Aceh region off the coast of northern Sumatra. A tsunami warning has been issued across the Indian Ocean, the US Geological Survey reports.

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Indonesia’s Geophysical Agency says a fresh aftershock of 8.2 magnitude has hit off the Sumatra province of Aceh. A new fresh tsunami warning has been issued.

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Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency is sending a rescue team to Aceh, after the quake knocked out the province’s electricity and sent locals scrambling for higher ground, Reuters says.

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Waves from a possible tsunami could reach the provincial capital Banda Aceh shortly, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

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“Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean basin,” a warning from the PTWC reads. “Authorities in the region should take appropriate action in response to the possibility.”

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Indonesia’s president stated that the country as yet faced “no tsunami threat, but we are on alert”. At this time, Indonesia’s Geophysical Agency has not received reports of damage or rise in water levels in Aceh – communication with the region is poor.
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Banda Aceh is the closest city to the quake’s epicenter, which lies 33 km beneath the ocean floor. The city has a population of over 220,000, and is situated some 500 kilometers away from the epicenter. Its port remains open, a local official said. Aceh province was the main victim of the massive 2004 quake and tsunami in the Indian ocean.
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Tremors from the quake have been felt in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and southern India. Witnesses said on Twitter that high-rise buildings and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least a minute. India’s port of Chennai shut after the quake, a local official told Reuters.
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Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.
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In December 2004, a giant 9.1 quake triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, nearly three quarters of them in Aceh.

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Top ten most powerful quakes of last 100 years

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April 11, 2012 Indonesia – A massive 8.7 quake rattled Indonesia’s Aceh province with aftershocks reaching as far as India and Thailand.

March 11, 2011 Japan – 15,000 people perished in a 9.0 magnitude quake that shook the Japanese island of Honshu. It caused the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the worst since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.

February 27, 2010 Chile – A quake of 8.8 magnitude struck off the coast of central Chile, decimating coastal communities and claiming more than 500 lives.

March 28, 2005 Sumatra – 1,300 people perished in a quake measuring 8.6 that shook Sumatra.

December 26, 2004 Indonesia – 226,000 people were killed in a tidal wave caused by a 9.1 magnitude quake off the coast of an Indonesian island close to Sumatra.

February 4, 1965 Alaska – A tsunami 35 feet high was triggered by an 8.7 earthquake.

March 28, 1964 Alaska – A 9.2 quake struck Alaska, the resulting tsunami killing 125 people.

May 22, 1960 Santiago, Chile – The Chilean capital was rocked by an earthquake measuring 9.5 on the Richter scale. It claimed 5,000 lives and left over 2 million homeless.

November 4, 1952 Russia, Kamchatka – A 9.0 quake in Russia’s Far East caused a tidal wave to buffet the coast of Hawaii. There were no casualties.

January 31, 1906, Ecuador – A tidal wave triggered by an 8.8 strength earthquake killed at least 1,000 on the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia.

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RT.

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