Pattaya Daily News

07 April 2010 :: 11:04:36 am 17698

Earthquake Prompts Thailand to Issue Tsunami Warnings

A massive earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday, causing widespread panic and power cuts. Tsunami warnings were issued for all regions bordering the Andaman Sea, put in place following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
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Indonesia, the 7th of April, 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The earthquake, measured at 7.8 magnitude, is the second major temblor to have hit the Indonesian coast in the last six months raising fears that another major incident is on the horizon. Geologists regularly warn that Sumatra is due a massive earthquake that will be even bigger and more devastating than the 2004 tremor that killed an estimated 220,000 people.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at a depth of 46 km. The epicentre was 60 kilometres southeast of Sinabang, on Simeulue Island, the epicentre of the 2004 earthquake.

The quake caused buildings to shake in all coastal cities with blackouts reported in Medan and Banda Aceh. As yet no reports of any major damage have come in whilst the tsunami warnings were lifted two hours after the event. Residents of Banda Aceh reportedly felt the earth shake for up to one minute whilst a series of aftershocks occurred after the main incident.

Many Indonesian immediately fled their coastal towns on motorcycles, reportedly heading inland to avoid the effects of another devastating tsunami. ”People panicked and ran out of the house, it lasted almost a minute. I saw a lot of people who live close to the sea using motorcycles to drive inland,” an unnamed reporter in Banda Aceh stated.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific rim of fire, along which 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur. Only six months ago a 7.6 magnitude quake devastated the Sumatran City of Padang, 350km south of Sibolga killing 1000 people. The 2004 ‘Boxing Day’ tsunami that struck in the Indian Ocean, killed over 200,000 people and primarily devastated Indian, Indonesian and Thai coastal communities. That quake measured a massive 9.3 in magnitude.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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