Tsunami warnings have been issued after a 8.6-magnitude earthquake and an 8.2-magnitude aftershock struck off the coast of Aceh, Indonesia, the site of a major tsunami in 2004. Catholic Relief Services mounted a five-year relief and reconstruction program after that disaster. The Associated Press reports:
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — A massive earthquake off Indonesia’s western coast triggered a tsunami watch for countries across the Indian Ocean on Wednesday, clogging streets with traffic as residents fled to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles.
Two hours after the quake hit, however, there was no sign of the feared wave. Damage also appeared to be minimal.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8.6-magnitude quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 269 miles (434 kilometers) from Aceh province.
The Associated Press issued an update after the aftershock:
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia has issued a fresh tsunami warning after an aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 shook its western coast.
The first 8.6-magnitude quake off Aceh province, hours earlier, spawned a wave around 30 inches (80 centimeters) high but caused no serious damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the strong temblor that followed was centered 10 miles (16 kilometers) beneath the ocean around 380 miles (615 kilometers) from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
Harjadi, a local official who goes by only one name, said the new tsunami warning was for residents living along the western coast of the country.
It included Sumatra island and the Mentawai islands.
Check with the CRS Newswire for updates on the earthquake and on our response, if one is needed.
Update, 9:30 a.m. EDT: CRS Indonesia reports tsunami warning lifted, hope no serious impact from this earthquake. Some affected cities report electricity outages.
Update, 10 a.m. EDT: Indian Ocean tsunami alert ends.