Indonesia: A powerful earthquake struck off Indonesia’s Sumatra Island, prompting an Indian Ocean wide tsunami alert. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the 8.6 quake (earlier it was reported 8.9), was felt as far away as Bangkok and southern India. It was detected 33 kilometres beneath the ocean floor about 495 kilometres south-west of Banda Aceh.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) said a tsunami watch was in effect for the entire Indian Ocean and individual countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India issued tsunami warnings. It also claimed that a tsunami measuring 17 centimetres has been generated in the Indian Ocean and is headed for Aceh.
Responding to the PTWC warning, India added the southern coastal states of Kerala and Orissa to a tsunami warning along with Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. A more urgent red alert warning was earlier issued for the Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in the Indian Ocean.
However, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono addressed citizens on national television to say “so far, there is no tsunami threat”.