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Aceh earthquakes cause panic, no tsunami by Nurdin Hasan, Fidelis E. Satriastanti & Dessy Sagita April 11,2012   |  Source: Jakarta Globe

Two massive earthquakes off the coast of Aceh, Indonesia, on Wednesday triggered panic, tsunami warnings around the Indian Ocean and reminders of the horrific 2004 disaster, but little actual damage or injury.

The first quake, which measured 8.5 in magnitude and struck at 3:28 p.m. Western Indonesia time, hit 346 kilometers west of Simeulu in Aceh at a depth of 33 kilometers, according to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

The second, stronger at a magnitude of 8.8 but 100 kilometers farther west, hit at 5:43 p.m. At least 13 aftershocks were recorded, the strongest at a magnitude of 8.3.

The initial tremor, which lasted almost five minutes, was felt in across Sumatra and in countries around the Indian Ocean, prompting people in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India to run out of buildings.

Tsunami sirens quickly rang out in many of the same areas traumatized by the December 2004 9.1-magnitude quake and tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people. Evacuations occurred in the Aceh capital, Banda Aceh, and Phuket, Thailand, which were two of the hardest-hit areas.

Tsunami warnings were issued for 27 countries and for five cities in Sumatra.

In Banda Aceh, the quake cut off electricity and briefly interrupted mobile phone


© 2011 JakartaGlobe

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