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8.7 and 8.6 magnitude earthquakes rock Indian Ocean region

Two earthquakes of 8.7 and 8.6 magnitude struck off the coast of Indonesia, causing a tsunami warning to be issued for the entire Indian Ocean region.

Residents of Indonesia and India apparently dashed out of their homes and offices in fear, according to Haaretz.

Later, however, the New York Times stated that there had been no reports of casualties or of significant damage. The tsunami warnings broadcast on television, mobile phones and the Internet were also called off hours after they were given to the public.

The United States Geological Survey measured the first earthquake at 8.6. Felt in Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the region’s tsunami warning systems allowed residents time to flee coastal areas for higher ground.

Reuters reports that the two quakes stuck the same area as the 2004 quake, which was at a depth of 18 miles along a fault line running under the Indian Ocean, off western Indonesia and up into the Bay of Bengal. Experts were telling media that the quakes were a “strike-slip” fault, meaning a more horizontal shift of the ground under the sea as opposed to a sudden vertical shift. What this translated to for most concerned folks is that there was less risk of a large displacement of water triggering a tsunami.

David Rothery, an expert at the Open University in the U.K. told Reuters that the tsunami crisis had been avoided because the nature of the sideways rupture and movement. It was not then, apparently, going to cause a bad tsunami.

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Categories: Asia News,World News