Brief Tsunami Watch Issued After Major Quake Off NicobarA major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale shook Andaman and Nicobar Islands early Sunday, triggering a tsunami alert which was later withdrawn. No casualties have been reported due to the
A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale shook Andaman and Nicobar Islands early Sunday, triggering a tsunami alert which was later withdrawn.
No casualties have been reported due to the quake, effects of which were also felt in Chennai and some other coastal areas.
The Central Seismological Observatory Centre, Shillong, said the quake took place at around 12.57 am at a spot off the west coast of Nicobar Island in the Indian Ocean.
The epicentre of the quake was located at latitude 7.9 degree north and longitude 91.9 degree east, the observatory said.
Deputy Commissioner of Nicobar district T Srikanth said a tsunami watch alert was issued after the major earthquake jolted the island. "We had given a tsunami watch alert for about one and a half hours. We have revoked it. The situation is normal and it is being monitored," he said.
No loss of life or damage to property was reported, Srikanth said.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had issued a warning for the entire Indian Ocean region which later was downgraded to a warning for India and was subsequently called off.
"Sea level readings indicate that a significant tsunami was not generated," the centre said in a bulletin.
Moderate tremors were also felt in several parts of Chennai and its suburbs for a few seconds.
However, no casualty or damage to property were reported, police said.
People in panic rushed out of their houses at Gopalapuram, Kodambakkam, Porur, Thiruvanmiyur, Anna Nagar and several other places following the tremor, they said.
Several parts of coastal Orissa also experienced mild tremors early today, but no casualty or damage to property was reported, officials said in Bhubaneswar.
The tremors were felt in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Puri, they said.
The Indian Tsunami Warning Centre at Hyderabad had issued three bulletins immediately after the earthquake and put Nicobar and Camorta islands on a tsunami watch.
"Since the epicentre of the earthquake was near Nicobar, about 400 kms south-west of the island, we had issued a tsunami watch for Nicobar and Camorta," Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, told PTI.
However, after computer model showed there was no danger of tsunami, the watch was withdrawn.
"Our computer models showed 50 cm high waves lashing Nicobar and Camorta, and 15 cm waves along the Tamil Nadu coast," Nayak said.
The tsunami watch, during which people are advised to stay away from the seashore, was issued at around 1 am and withdrawn by 2:30 am. PTI