Indonesia Struck By 8.7 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami Warning Issued

Reuters informs that Indonesia was struck by an 8.7 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday morning and authorities have issued a tsunami warning to prevent further disasters. The epicenter of the earthquake was identified at 308 miles southwest of the city of Banda Aceh at a depth of 20.5 miles.

The northern tip of the Sumatra island was shaken by an incredibly powerful earthquake on Wednesday morning. The 8.7 seism was felt throughout the majority of the Indonesian provinces including Aceh where people were left without electricity. Sutopo, the spokesperson of Indonesia’s disaster management agency declared that the lack of electricity caused numerous traffic jams and the atmosphere in Aceh was filled with siren sounds and Koran recitals from mosques.

Residents in southern India, as well as in the Thai capital, Bangkok, said they could feel the effects of the earthquake. In fact, workers in the Indian city of Bangalore left their offices because they were afraid they could get trapped in the building.

Authorities are alarmed because Indonesia has been through a similar experience on December 26, 2004. Back then, the area was struck by a 9.1 magnitude quake and Sumatra was covered by huge tsunami waves. The 2004 death toll rose to 230,000 and 13 countries across the Indian Ocean were affected by the seism, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India. Experts’ analyses showed that the 2004 earthquake was set at a depth of 18 miles along a fault line that crossed all the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka was another area that was partially affected by the Wednesday earthquake. Local inhabitants went through terrifying moments as they relieved the 2004 seismic episode. Most workers in the capital of Colombo and the southern Thai holiday island of Phuket fled their offices to find a safe place where they could take refuge until the quake was over.

Thai and Bangladesh authorities are prepared to intervene in case a tsunami starts. Somchai Baimoung, Thai Meteorological Department deputy chief, concluded the interview saying that there hasn’t been any sign of tsunami threat until now.

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