11 April 2012 10:52 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A tsunami watch was issued for the whole Indian Ocean after an earthquake of magnitude 8.7 struck off the west coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake occurred at 08:39 hours GMT and was centred 33km (21 miles) beneath the ocean floor around 434 km southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province.
USGS revised down its preliminary reading on the quake from 8.9.
“Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean basin,” said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
“However, it is not known that a tsunami was generated. This watch is based only on the earthquake evaluation. Authorities in the region should take appropriate action in response to the possibility of a widespread destructive tsunami,” it added.
Banda Aceh was devastated by a tsunami resulting from a 9.1-magnitude quake in December 2004.
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