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Tsunami Warning Lifted After Quake Triggering Panic

BY NURDIN HASAN
The red "mark" is epicenter of strong earthquake hit Aceh
Banda Aceh, TAG – Two hours after a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the Aceh province on Wednesday, Indonesian’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) lifted a tsunami warning, calming residents who earlier fled their houses.

“To all residents, they can go home. The situation is safe. Please, don’t panic,” Syahnan, a Banda Aceh’s Mata Ie  Meteorology and Geophysics official, told journalists.
Minutes after the quake struck with an epicenter 423 kilometers southwest of the capital of Banda Aceh, and a depth of 29 kilometers beneath the Indian Ocean floor, residents in some districts in the province ran in panic from their homes as news of the tsunami warning issued. 
No injures and damage reported across the province caused by the quake that hit at around 1.38 a.m. local time on Wednesday.
BMKG initially said the quake had a magnitude of 7,6, but then corrected to 7,3 as the US Geological survey preliminary released.
Ahmadi, a local journalist in Sinabang, the capital Simeulue district, which closed to the epicenter, said the sea level had decreased for a meter following the quake.
“People’s on alert but no panic here,” he said on the Aceh Journalist Forum for Disaster’s (FJAPB) mailing-list. “They had returned home after tsunami warning lifted, to continue sleeping.”
He added that three moderate aftershocks felt in Simeulue island after the strong one.
In Banda Aceh, residents who still traumatized by the 2004 giant quake and tsunami were rattled from their sleep as they felt the earth shudder for almost a minute.
Eliana, a house wife aged 40, said she had been asleep at the time of the quake. The mother of five said a strong jolt woke her up, and she immediately woke her children, rushing with them to safety.
“Everyone in my neighborhood was scrambling for open ground,” she said. “The earthquake lasted about one minute.”
Another Banda Aceh resident, Ades, 56, said he had been playing domino at the time, along with seven other people at a village shelter. He said everyone fled the moment of the quake struck.
“All people went home immediately afterward to check up on their family and property,” Ades said.
Hundred people gathered on Pante Pirak bridge in the down town to watch surface of 'Krueng Aceh' river to check if there was any change in its surface height, showing residents remain nervous.
People who live in Ulee Lheue Seaport had moved further inland, taking shelter in mosques or camped by the roadside as a precautionary measure. They returned home hours later after the BMKG lifted the tsunami warning.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.
A massive tsunami hit Aceh province in Indonesia and other countries in the Indian Ocean following a gigantic 9.3 magnitude earthquake struck on December 26 2004, killing about 230,000 people, most of them in Aceh that located in the northern Sumatra.[]


Related articles:
http://www.theacehglobe.com/2012/01/major-quake-hits-aceh.html
http://www.theacehglobe.com/2011/12/7-years-on-aceh-honors-its-dead.html
Tsunami Warning Lifted After Quake Triggering Panic Tsunami Warning Lifted After Quake Triggering Panic Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on January 11, 2012 Rating: 5

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