Tsunami warning issued after powerful quake rocks Indonesia

October 25th, 2010 - 10:08 pm ICT by BNO News  

JAKARTA (BNO NEWS) — Indonesia on Monday evening issued a tsunami warning for its coastlines after a powerful earthquake struck off the western coast of Sumatra.

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake was centered just off the Mentawai Islands, about 240 kilometers (149 miles) south of Padang, the capital and largest city of West Sumatra. It struck about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the country’s seismological agency.

The agency immediately issued a tsunami warning for nearby coastlines, prompting residents in the region to flee coastlines in fear of a tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning, but instead issued a tsunami watch for Indonesia.

“A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data,” the agency said in a bulletin. “However, there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than a hundred kilometers from the earthquake epicenter.”

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center measured the strength of the earthquake at 7.5 on the Richter scale, much higher than Indonesia’s estimate.

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