29 March 2005

Tsunami alert after 8.2 quake

A powerful earthquake of measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia's tsunami-devasted Sumatra island late on Monday, causing major panic and power blackouts, officials and reports said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the quake which was felt in Malaysia, officials said, pinpointing the epicentre off the coast of the southern coast of the island.

However, the Japanese Kyodo news service said the quake had triggered a tsunami warning.

Suharjono, the head of earthquake division of Indonesia's Meteological and Geophysics agency, told SCTV television station that the tremor struck between the offshore isles of Nias and Simeuleu, 33km under the sea.

The quake was close to the epicentre of a magnitude-9.0 seismic thrust which struck on December 26, throwing up a tsunami that killed more than 273 000 people around the Indian Ocean.

It was felt in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, where guests and residents evacuated high-rise hotels and apartments, an AFP correspondent said.

Tremors were also felt in Padang, the capital of neighbouring Sumatra province, where it downed powerlines, according to local Metro TV. No telephone contact was immediately possible with Padang or another major city, Medan.


Post a Comment

<< Home