Earthquake Hits Indonesia; Tremors Felt In India

At 2:10 pm Indonesia’s geophysical agency has reported an earthquake of 8.6 on Richter scale off Aceh, and has issued a tsunami warning. Soon on twitter, people were talking of tremors in Mumbai, Delhi, Ooty, Chennai, Trivandrum and ofcourse we felt it here in Cochin as well!

It felt weird. I was lying down on my bed watching a movie on my laptop. I felt myself shaking and then the bed shaking and at first thought I was having a dizzy spell. Then no! It continued on for a couple of minutes and I couldn’t really register as to what was going on. Soon my folks called me as dad had felt the same and he was out on the balcony trying to see if there was anything on the street that could be causing it. We checked the news and it was an earthquake!

In some offices people have been asked to clear out and stand in open areas and areas designated as assembly points until further news could be provided. No reports of damage, injury or any deaths so far. I did see some clips of cracks on old houses and buildings in parts of Kerala.

On the beaches at Chennai, policemen used megaphones to ask people to leave, with little effect.  Mobile phone networks were jammed in the city till 4 pm.   In Andhra Pradesh, fishermen  were  asked to return from sea.  In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, civilians  were asked to move to higher ground.  In Kolkata, metro trains were stopped at 2.40 pm for nearly an hour; as a precaution, passengers were evacuated.

A second round of tremors was felt in India in cities like Kolkata and Chennai at 4.25 pm as a tsunami alert remained in place for 28 countries including India.  Indonesia has issued a new tsunami warning following an aftershock that hovered around 8.2 on the Richter scale. Officials in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have prepped for emergency processes and remain on high alert.  Press Trust of India reports that the government has evacuated some people from South Andaman as a precaution.