Tsunami alert following Indonesia earthquake

A massive 8.7 magnitude earthquake on the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, followed by an aftershock measuring 8.2 jsut a few hours later, has tsunami warnings in effect for much of the Indian Ocean region. Recently, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center eliminated all regions in Africa, including the Seychelles, La Reunion, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Iran, UAE, Yemen, Comores from their tsunami warnings. It’s reported Sri Lanka reported no wave, Thailand experienced some smaller waves, but no major damages. Originally the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued an urgent tsunami watch for coastal regions in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Madagascar, Iran, Uae, Yemen, Comores, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, South Africa, Singapore. The U.S. Geological Survey indicates the earthquake hit about 490 km southwest of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, at a depth of 33 km. There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage. Tourists were urged to evacuate coastal resorts in the Indian Ocean region due to the threat of a tsunami. Indonesia issued a tsunami warning early today, although Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reported that there was “no tsunami threat, although we are on alert.”Yesterday’s earthquake struck in roughly in the same area as a Dec. 26, 2004 quake of 9.1 magnitude, which sent huge tsunami waves crashing into Sumatra, where 170,000 people were killed, and across the Indian Ocean. In all, the 2004 tsunami killed about 230,000 people in 13 Indian Ocean countries, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.