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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2430

Lanka coastline evacuation begins expecting small tsunami within next hour

By Joseph Thavaraja

Colombo, 12 September, (Asiantribune.com): The northern, eastern and southern coastline populace in Sri Lanka have began leaving their dwellings as Lanka Disaster Management Centre revised its tsunami warning within the next hour. The DMS announced 'to expect a small tsunami between 7.50 pm – 8.30 pm'.

The announcements became especially frequent once Indonesia's Padang city was hit by a small tsunami a few minutes ago. "Sri Lanka's southern and south western areas are at highest risk" DMS said.

Latest international reports indicated that Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia felt the quake-shock. AFP reported that a massive 7.9-magnitude quake struck off the western coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island earlier today, triggering a tsunami warning for the entire Indian Ocean region. "The undersea earthquake erupted offshore at around 1100 GMT some 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the city of Bengkulu at a depth of roughly 15 kilometres, the United States Geological Survey" said AFP.

Tsunami alerts sounded in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives

India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives issued tsunami alerts after a massive earthquake off the west coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, officials said.

"We are issuing the alert after the quake in Indonesia," a Sri Lankan meteorology department spokesman said, adding that Sri Lanka could be affected following Wednesday's 7.9-magnitude quake.

The island nation's coastlines were devastated in 2004, with 31,000 killed and one million people left homeless.

"Those living close to the coastline in the northern, southern and southwestern coasts of Sri Lanka are hereby warned to stay away from the coastline and move to safer areas," a statement from the meteorological department said.

Officials in Sri Lanka said the alert was also sounded for the nearby Maldives, which was badly hit by the last tsunami.

India's home ministry warned residents of the Andaman and Nicobar island chain, closer to Indonesia than the Indian mainland, as well as those on India's southeast coast to take precautions.

"For the Andaman and Nicobar islands, yes, we have issued an alert. The (eastern) coastal states have also been alerted, but it's a precautionary measure," a ministry spokesman said.

India lost more than 16,000 people in the tsunami, which killed a total of around 220,000 people and left material damage estimated by the United Nations at 2.5 billion dollars.

Quake triggers tsunami in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia - A massive earthquake struck Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering a tsunami in the town of Padang and warnings for much of the Indian Ocean region, authorities said. The quake caused tall buildings to sway in a least four countries.

A wave of up to nine feet was reported to have hit Padang about 20 minutes after the quake, said Suhardjono, an official with Indonesia's meteorological agency, who goes by only one name.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also reported that a small tsunami hit Padang.

- Asian Tribune -

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