Tsunami Warning After Midnight Quake

The center of the earthquake was located off the western coast of Sumatra and about 870 miles northwest of Jakarta – close to the rugged island of Nias, well known to surfers.
     Fear of another Tsunami droved tens of thousands of people on the coastline into panic. Evacuations to elevated land after the official Tsunami warning were chaotic.
     At 23:30 local time, every government warned its people on the coastlines about the possibility of a Tsunami, then immediately began evacuations.
     “The safe point should be higher than 20 meters and at least as far from the sea as the last time,” Thai Authorities warned people in Phuket and the rest of the coastlines.
     “There were no serious injuries in connection with the evacuation, just small cuts and bruises from the chaos,” says one of the locals from Patong Beach.
     Indonesian authorities has reported that there might be up to 2,000 people casualties from the quake. The confirmed death toll by the Indonesian government, according to Reuters and AP, is up to 322. All the victims were from Nias and the cause of death were mostly from the collision of their residence buildings, as the quake happened at night.
     “There are still many people trapped in damaged buildings,” a senior police officer in Gunungsitoli told Reuters.
     However, since there were no signs of a Tsunami for several hours after the quake, the alert was withdrawn later in most areas.
     “There were at least 15 aftershocks in the wake of the quake, but the indicator showed only 5-6 rictors. The situation in Phuket is already back to normal. The aftershocks will not cause anymore damage. We inspected over 1,600 aftershocks which the scale indicated more than 5 rictors after the December 2004 Tsunami incident,” said the senior police officer.

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