Thursday, September 13, 2007

MORE PICS – 8.4 Quake Off Sumatra (7.10pm M’sian Time; 13-Sep 07) Felt Across Malaysia; 2nd Quake – 7.49am, Thurs Similar effects on Tall Building

MORE PICS – 8.4 Quake Off Sumatra (7.10pm M’sian Time; 13-Sep 07) Felt Across Malaysia; 2nd Quake – 7.49am, Thurs Similar effects on Tall Buildings

MORE PICS Coming....

ABOVE: Malaysiakini early story on the aftershocks in KL (details H E R E) and across the country - Penang, Ipoh & Johore reports of swaying buildings and earth cave in. Lucky Tsunami - no effect as teutonic plate moves towards seas

Earthquake: 10 killed as huge tremor triggers tsunami alert

JAKARTA: A massive earthquake killed at least 10 people, injured scores and triggered a small tsunami in western Indonesia yesterday, authorities said. Warnings of potentially destructive waves were issued across the Indian Ocean region. The 8.4-magnitude quake off Sumatra damaged homes, shopping malls and mosques along the coast and could be felt in at least four countries, with tall buildings swaying as far as 2,000km away. It was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks.

ABOVE & BELOW:Damages to buildings in Padang, Sumatra

A tsunami – perhaps just a metre high – reportedly struck off the city of Padang, said Suhardjono, a senior official at Indonesia's meteorological agency, adding that severed phone lines were making it hard to get details. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre also reported a small tsunami.

ABOVE & BELOW: The fear of a Tsunami caused an exodus to higher grounds

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Most of the damage, however, appeared to come from the tremor.

Two people were killed when a car dealership collapsed and another person died in a fire on the fourth floor of a department store, said Alfin, a witness in Padang, adding that excavation machinery was being used to search through the rubble for survivors.

ABOVE & BELOW: A hospital and BELOW: the injured have to wait for treatment

September 13, 2007 16:19 PM

At least seven people also were killed in and around Bengkulu, a town 400km away, Social Affairs Department official Felix Valentino told the news portal detik.com. At least 100 others were hospitalised, said Health Ministry official Rustam Pakaya. Panicked residents fled their homes and ran inland. “Everyone is running out of their houses in every direction,” said Wati Said, who spoke by cellphone standing outside her house in Bengkulu, which was closest to the epicentre of the quake.

We think our neighbourhood is high enough. God-willing, if the water comes, it will not touch us here. Everyone is afraid.” The undersea temblor could be felt in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, 600km away, where office workers streamed down the stairwells of tall, swaying buildings. It also caused high-rises to sway in neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The quake hit at about 6.10pm (7.10pm Malaysian time), the US Geological Survey said, and was centred 105km southwest of Sumatra at a depth of 30km. “Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean Basin,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said, warning that waves could hit Indonesia and Australia within an hour, and Sri Lanka and India within three.

Seeking refuge: People evacuating Marina beach in the southern Indian city of Chennai. — Reuters
Indonesia lifted all alerts several hours later, saying there was no longer a potential for a destructive wave. Tsunami warnings were issued as far away as Africa, with people in Kenya told to leave beaches. Closer to home, Thailand sent cellphone text messages alerting hundreds of officials in six southern provinces.
In India, officials said nothing was felt in the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands, some of which are just 240km north of the epicentre. But an alert was issued and local authorities were told to take precautions, said Dharam Pal, the regional relief commissioner.
Sri Lankans were also told to move at least 200m inland.
In Australia, the tsunami warning was lifted after only small rises in the sea level were measured at Cocos Island and the Christmas Islands. But officials warned residents to stay away from the ocean, warning that dangerous waves and currents could still affect beaches, harbours and rivers for several hours.
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

A huge earthquake struck the same area on Dec 26, 2004, causing a massive tsunami and over 230,000 deaths in countries across the region. – AP

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Luck Saves Indonesia From Tsunami, Says Expert

MELBOURNE, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- An Australian expert said it is a matter of luck that Indonesia's powerful earthquake did not generate a devastating tsunami. Central Queensland University seismologist Mike Turnbull said the 8.2 magnitude tremor which struck in the ocean off southern Sumatra yesterday was equivalent in energy to more than 800,000 atomic bombs being exploded, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported. But the huge force of water displaced by the ocean earthquake was pushed out to sea rather than towards land, he said. "It was very fortunate that the plate mechanisms that triggered the earthquake caused the tsunami to go to the southwest, out into the Indian Ocean and then the Southern Ocean," Turnbull said."So there was very little effect from it." He said that if the water had been forced north, or south, rather than southwest, "it would have been awful" .The quake sparked chaos across the mountainous island, where buildings collapsed or were damaged in Padang and Bengkulu, killing at least six and injuring scores more, AAP said. It was felt 600km away in the capital Jakarta, where thousands fled swaying office blocks and homes, and in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.Tsunami alerts were issued for numerous countries, from northern Australia to Mozambique.Turnbull, of the Central Queensland Seismology Research Group, said the earthquake -- located on a plate boundary -- was caused by the build-up of pressure over thousands of years between two shifting plates -- the Australian Indian plate and the Asian plate to the northwest. He said the boundary between the two plates was "very active" across the Indonesian archipelago, which is regularly rattled by earthquakes."The rock in the earth's crust in that area is being squashed by the relative movement of the two plate boundaries," he said.

Thursday September 13, 2007

Tsunami warning withdrawn

PETALING JAYA: The tsunami warning issued for four northern states was withdrawn by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry at about 11pm, two hours after the Meteorological Department issued an alert following an earthquake in Indonesia. Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis said the action was taken based on information received from department and other related authorities. Contact with Indonesian counterparts revealed that only a small tsunami was detected off Padang, he added. Dr Jamaluddin told The Star that the alert to the public was put out within 15 minutes of the information having been confirmed. Residents in several northern states in the peninsula had been put on an alert and warned to stay away from beaches after a powerful earthquake measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale struck off Sumatra at 7.10pm yesterday. On-site advisory: A policeman advising the public to stay away from the seafront at the Esplanade in Penang earlier Wednesday night.Fishermen were also asked to quickly return to shore. Dr Jamaluddin explained that latest information during a tsunami alert would be relayed to the police, relevant departments and the media as soon as they were confirmed. “The public will be able receive notices of evacuation via announcements on TV, radio and SMS within 15 minutes after information is relayed electronically from the buoys,” he pointed out. This was the first serious tsunami alert in Malaysia following the deadly tsunami disaster on Dec 26, 2004. Dr Jamaluddin said the possibility of a tsunami occurring could be detected via buoys placed in the Andaman Sea and near Pulau Layang-Layang off Sabah. According to an update issued at 8.50pm on the Meteorological Department website, a tsunami was detected at Padang, Indonesia, with a wave height of one to three metres. In Sungai Petani, hundreds of residents living in 10 coastal villages in Kota Kuala Muda fled their homes for a few hours following the tsunami alert. This reduced the villages to “eerie” zones, with only police personnel and firemen patrolling. For former fisherman Jamaluddin Mat Isa, 60, who was crippled following injuries suffered in the 2004 tsunami, the alert brought back horrendous memories. The fears of his wife, Siti Esah Che Noh, 51, and 10 children were further compounded when they were asked to move back to their home in Kampung Kepala Jalan, which is about 20m from the sea, on March 30, after being relocated following the 2004 tsunami.

Residents from about 20 households in Kampung Tepi Sungai packed their important documents and spent the night at relatives' homes away from the area. A police spokesman said they had been directed to patrol the coastal area in Kota Kuala Muda until at least midnight.

Destroyed: A resident looking at a collapsed building after a strong earthquake struck in Padang, West Sumatra province. — Reuters

Most of the damage, however, appeared to come from the tremor.
Two people were killed when a car dealership collapsed and another person died in a fire on the fourth floor of a department store, said Alfin, a witness in Padang, adding that excavation machinery was being used to search through the rubble for survivors.

At least seven people also were killed in and around Bengkulu, a town 400km away, Social Affairs Department official Felix Valentino told the news portal detik.com. At least 100 others were hospitalised, said Health Ministry official Rustam Pakaya. Panicked residents fled their homes and ran inland. “Everyone is running out of their houses in every direction,” said Wati Said, who spoke by cellphone standing outside her house in Bengkulu, which was closest to the epicentre of the quake. We think our neighbourhood is high enough. God-willing, if the water comes, it will not touch us here. Everyone is afraid.” The undersea temblor could be felt in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, 600km away, where office workers streamed down the stairwells of tall, swaying buildings. It also caused high-rises to sway in neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The quake hit at about 6.10pm (7.10pm Malaysian time), the US Geological Survey said, and was centred 105km southwest of Sumatra at a depth of 30km. “Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean Basin,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said, warning that waves could hit Indonesia and Australia within an hour, and Sri Lanka and India within three.

Seeking refuge: People evacuating Marina beach in the southern Indian city of Chennai. — Reuters
Indonesia lifted all alerts several hours later, saying there was no longer a potential for a destructive wave. Tsunami warnings were issued as far away as Africa, with people in Kenya told to leave beaches. Closer to home, Thailand sent cellphone text messages alerting hundreds of officials in six southern provinces.
In India, officials said nothing was felt in the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands, some of which are just 240km north of the epicentre. But an alert was issued and local authorities were told to take precautions, said Dharam Pal, the regional relief commissioner.
Sri Lankans were also told to move at least 200m inland.
In Australia, the tsunami warning was lifted after only small rises in the sea level were measured at Cocos Island and the Christmas Islands. But officials warned residents to stay away from the ocean, warning that dangerous waves and currents could still affect beaches, harbours and rivers for several hours.
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
A huge earthquake struck the same area on Dec 26, 2004, causing a massive tsunami and over 230,000 deaths in countries across the region. – AP
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Thursday September 13, 2007

Thurs morning quake in Sumatra, no tsunami threat to Malaysia (update 4)

PETALING JAYA: A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale shook western Indonesia for the second straight day Thursday morning at about 7.49am (Malaysian time) and triggered a tsunami warning in Indonesia. Although tremors were felt in parts of the Klang Valley at around 8.15am, the Malaysian Meteorological Department said there was no tsunami threat to Malaysia at that time. The tremors were felt at high-rise buildings in Kuala Lumpur including the Menara TM building in Lembah Pantai and Nikko Hotel at Jalan Ampang. In Penang, tremors were also felt at some buildings in the city centre. Government servants evacuate their office building in Putrajaya this morning after tremors were felt as a result of the quake which hit Sumatra at 7.49am Malaysian time. This was the second quake that hit Sumatra. Wednesday evening another quake hit Bengkulu at 7.10pm Malaysian time. From Wednesday evening, more than 20 aftershocks from both quakes were felt, ranging from 4.6 to 7.1 on the Richter scale. The last one was at 2.32pm Malaysian time. The Meteorological Department said, as of 3pm Thursday, there were no tsunami threats to Malaysia.
According to Bernama, Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Zainal Abidin Mohamed Zin confirmed Thursday that all Malaysian students in Indonesia were safe.

The Meteorological Department's Seismology Division Director Dr Rosaidi Che Abas said that the public should not worry. "Usually, a big earthquake is followed by several tremors for several weeks. However, the aftershocks are normally smaller. "We expect the aftershocks to continue and being felt in Peninsular Malaysia with weaker agnitudes. The situation will continue and the public need not worry," he told Bernama.

According to AP, the US Geological Survey said the tremor at 7.49am Thursday had a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 and was centred 200km from Bengkulu, a city on Sumatra island, at a depth of 10km. In Padang, Sumatra, AP reports that at least nine people were killed and 49 injured in the twin tremors, which caused tall buildings to sway in at least three countries. On Wednesday, an 8.4-magnitude earthquake triggered a small non-destructive tsunami off Indonesia's coastal city of Padang on Sumatra, the island ravaged by the 2004 tsunami disaster. A tsunami warning was issued for wide areas of the region and nations as far away as Africa. Thursday's magnitude-7.8 quake rattled the same area of Sumatra and caused extensive damage. "Many buildings collapsed after this morning's quake,'' Padang Mayor Fauzi Bahar told El Shinta radio. "We're still trying to find out about victims.'' Thousands of frightened people piled in trucks or sought shelter on high ground. Rafael Abreu, a geologist with the US Geological Survey, said Thursday's quake did not appear to be an aftershock to the temblor the day before. But the centres of both were close together.

The crowd that was seen outside Wisma EPF in Kuala Lumpur Thursday morning. Office workers just arriving at work found themselves being evacuated after tremors were felt in the capital city.

"We are not calling it an aftershock at this point. It's fairly large itself. It seems to be a different earthquake,'' Abreu said. "The quake seems to be pretty shallow,'' he said. "These are the quakes that can produce tsunamis.'' Indonesia issued a tsunami warning, lifted it and then reissued it. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning that unusual waves could hit Christmas Island early Thursday, but locals said there was no sign of a tsunami about an hour after the predicted time. "The danger has passed,'' said Linda Cash, a manager at the Christmas Island Visitors Center, adding that police were warning people to stay away from beaches. "There was no wave or damage or anything.''

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii warned Thursday's quake had the potential to generate a destructive regional tsunami along coasts within 1,000km of the epicentre. It advised authorities to take immediate action to evacuate coastal areas.

After Wednesday's quake, frightened people fled their homes and ran inland, fearing a repeat of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Sumatra that struck a dozen nations around the Indian Ocean. That disaster killing an estimated 230,000 people in a dozen nations, most of them in Aceh province on Sumatra. "Everyone is running out of their houses in every direction,'' Wati Said reported by cellphone from Bengkulu. "We think our neighborhood is high enough. God willing, if the water comes, it will not touch us here. ... Everyone is afraid.'' One witness, Budi Darmawan, said a three-story building near his office fell. "I saw it with my own eyes,'' he told El Shinta radio. Telephone lines and electricity were disrupted across a large swath of Indonesia, making it difficult to get information about damage and casualties. Death tolls released by several agencies ranged from five to nine. Rustam Pakaya, the chief of Health Crisis Center, gave the latter figure, which was based on information gathered from local hospitals, clinics and regional health offices. He said at least 49 people were injured. The first quake was felt in at least four countries, with tall buildings swaying in cities up to 2,000km away. It was followed by a series of strong aftershocks, further rattling residents. Suhardjono, a senior official with the local meteorological agency who like most Indonesians uses only one name, said a small tsunami, perhaps one metre (yard) high, struck Padang about 20min after Wednesday's quake. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also reported a small wave.

But most of the damage appeared to come from the ground shaking. Two people died when a car dealership collapsed in Padang and another was killed by a fire on the fourth floor of a damaged department store, a witness, Alfin, said by phone. Excavation machinery was being used to search the rubble for survivors, he said. In Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, hundreds of kilometres from the epicentre, office workers streamed down stairwells as tall office buildings swayed. High-rises also were affected in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Sensitive to the 2004 tsunami disaster, governments issued alerts as far away as Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa, telling people to leave beaches. People in Mombasa, Kenya, crowded into buses after hearing the warning over the radio.

Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center sent cellphone text messages alerting hundreds of officials in six southern provinces, and authorities also were told to prepare in India's remote Andaman and Nicobar islands. Sri Lankans were told to move at least 200 metres (yards) inland. Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the "Ring of Fire,'' an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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September 13, 2007 11:39 AM

Jambi Quake Tremors Felt In KL, Highrise Building Dwellers Rush Out

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- Anxiety gripped high-rise building dwellers in the Klang Valley again this morning when their premises rattled from the tremors of a powerful earthquake that struck Jambi province today. The 6.49am earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale hit south Sumatera, about 12 hours after a massive 8.2 quake rocked Bengkulu in west Sumatera yesterday. Tremors from the Jambi quake were felt at the Menara TM building in Lembah Pantai, Menara TH Selborn at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and Nikko Hotel at Jalan Ampang, a spokesman of the Jalan Hang Tuah Fire and Rescue station said. He said the station received more than 50 frantic calls from the public on the tremors since 7.55am. As a precautionary measure the residents were asked to vacate their premises, he said.

They were allowed to return to their premises 45 minutes later, he said. "So far the situation is under control. Nevertheless, we are monitoring the situation closely. Civil Defence Department personnel are assisting us to check if the tremors had caused cracks in the buildings," he said. An employee at Menara TM told Bernama about 6,000 staff were ordered to vacate the building following the tremors. "The building security ordered us to vacate the building when tremors were felt at about 8am. We were allowed to return to our work stations at 9.30am after they conducted thorough checks for about an hour," he said. It was the same situation at Menara TH Selborn when employees who reported for work this morning felt the tremors at about 7.55am, forcing about 1,000 of them to leave the premises. Kuala Lumpur City Hall building engineers inspected the building for possible damage, he said.

ABOVE: Twin towers not affected by tremors and BELOW: Nearby PBB Hq at the background, staff scrambled down

Surprisingly, however, the tremors were not felt at the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower and Menara Alor Setar in Kedah. KL Tower chief executive officer Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad said the tremors did not have any impact on the building. "The engineers have given their reports to me. The tremors did not cause any structural damage to the building. The KL Tower building is safe, so is the Menara Alor Setar," he said. Petronas Media Relations executive Ridzuan Zulkifli said the Petronas Twin Towers, the world's tallest building, is also safe.
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Quake felt in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR:The massive earthquake off the western coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island sent “shudders” to several parts of Malaysia. Residents in high-rise units either dashed down on their own or were directed to do so by security personnel. Most reported feeling tremors at about 7.15pm. A Kuala Lumpur City Hall official said the operations centre received information that tremors were felt in Setapak, Cheras, Jalan Pudu and several other parts of the city. “We are monitoring all high-rise buildings and have mobilised and sent out teams to the areas concerned,” he said, adding that minor cracks had appeared on two blocks of the Hospital Kuala Lumpur workers’ quarters.

No casualties were reported.

About 2,500 residents of the PPR Pudu Ulu flats and Pudu Impiana apartments in Jalan Pudu ran down when the tremors were felt. K. Nalathambi, 51, a resident of PPR Pudu Ulu flats, said he felt the building shaking and saw the cabinet in his living room “rattle”.

ABOVE: Safety zone: Residents of the Bukit Cagar flats evacuated their homes after feeling initial tremors as a result of the earthquake in Sumatra last evening.

“It was scary as I had felt such a tremor during the last tsunami,” said the schoolbus driver who lives on the fifth floor. George Moir, 80, who lives in the Langkawi Apartments in Setapak, said he felt the tremor at about 7.15pm while sitting in front of his computer. About 3,000 residents of several blocks of the Penara flats in Taman Tasek Permaisuri, Cheras, also evacuated. Residents at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur quarters were among those asked to evacuate three blocks of flats. Gurdav Kaur, 40, said they were directed to do so almost immediately by police and Fire and Rescue Department personnel who used a loudhailer. They were not allowed to return until 9.30pm.

In JOHOR BARU, thousands of people at the Bukit Cagar flats evacuated their units.

Storekeeper Pang Tai Kuang, 35, said he was having a nap when he was awakened by the tremors, which lasted about 15 minutes. “I thought I was dreaming, but realised the tremors were real and dashed out,” he added. Housewife Juliana Ghazali, 28, who just gave birth three days ago, had a nervous time walking down from the 15th floor as the lift was out of service.

In MALACCA, residents of several high-rise apartments made a quick dash down after realising what had happened. Those living in Ujong Pasir and Banda Hilir were the most affected. Michael Nunis, 58, who was visiting a friend in Ujong Pasir, said the tremors made him feel dizzy. Gloria Wong, 30, said she was with her three children on the eighth floor of the 12-storey Kekwah Apartment when she felt the tremors. “I was scared and immediately rushed down with my children, using the staircase,” she said, adding that there were already about 100 people downstairs when they got down. Abdullah Bakar, 45, a guard at the apartment, was one of the calmer residents, saying this was not the first time he had experienced tremors. “This has happened about five or six times before,” he recalled.

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Thursday September 13, 2007

Tremors felt in Penang, too; By BERNARD SEE; STAR

PENANG: Tremors caused by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake off Sumatera Thursday morning caused more than 4,000 workers from three government buildings here to flee their offices. The tremors were felt at the EPF building in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Komtar and Bangunan Tunku Syed Putra in Downing Street between 7.50am and 8.15am Thursday. State Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry enforcement chief M. Gunaselan said he had just reached his 8th floor office on Downing Street when he suddenly felt dizzy. “I thought nothing of it until one of my staff told me that there was a tremor.

ABOVE & BELOW: Komtar workers had a tw0-hr break

I then walked to the ground floor with the rest of my staff,” he said. Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd clerk Lim Saw Ean, 52, whose office was on the 28th floor of Komtar, said she and her colleagues felt their chairs sway at about 8am. “I have experienced quite a few tremors over the years but this was one of the worst. I went back to the office after the Fire and Rescue department gave the green light at 9.25am.” Perak Road Fire and Rescue Department operation chief Mohd Zin Salleh said his firemen did a floor-to-floor check of Komtar and found everything to be all right.

ABOVE: The Penang Kontar building had the largest sways in many years but was pronounced safe and BELOW: staff waiting at the roadside kerb & looking anxiously for further movement of the building

“The building was structurally sound. We had received a call about the tremors at 8.41am. Two engines rushed to the scene within minutes upon receiving the call. “No untoward incident was reported. The evacuation of 2,255 people from Komtar went smoothly as they had undergone a fire drill about two weeks back,” he said when approached by reporters at the scene. A state Meteorological Department spokesman said a series of aftershocks, which caused the tremors, were recorded following the massive earthquake in southern Sumatera. “The aftershocks at 7.49am and 9am probably caused the tremors in the town centre. We are expecting more aftershocks over the next few hours.
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September 13, 2007 16:19 PM

Luck Saves Indonesia From Tsunami, Says Expert

MELBOURNE, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- An Australian expert said it is a matter of luck that Indonesia's powerful earthquake did not generate a devastating tsunami. Central Queensland University seismologist Mike Turnbull said the 8.2 magnitude tremor which struck in the ocean off southern Sumatra yesterday was equivalent in energy to more than 800,000 atomic bombs being exploded, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported. But the huge force of water displaced by the ocean earthquake was pushed out to sea rather than towards land, he said. "It was very fortunate that the plate mechanisms that triggered the earthquake caused the tsunami to go to the southwest, out into the Indian Ocean and then the Southern Ocean," Turnbull said."So there was very little effect from it." He said that if the water had been forced north, or south, rather than southwest, "it would have been awful" .The quake sparked chaos across the mountainous island, where buildings collapsed or were damaged in Padang and Bengkulu, killing at least six and injuring scores more, AAP said. It was felt 600km away in the capital Jakarta, where thousands fled swaying office blocks and homes, and in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.Tsunami alerts were issued for numerous countries, from northern Australia to Mozambique.Turnbull, of the Central Queensland Seismology Research Group, said the earthquake -- located on a plate boundary -- was caused by the build-up of pressure over thousands of years between two shifting plates -- the Australian Indian plate and the Asian plate to the northwest. He said the boundary between the two plates was "very active" across the Indonesian archipelago, which is regularly rattled by earthquakes."The rock in the earth's crust in that area is being squashed by the relative movement of the two plate boundaries," he said.

Thursday September 13, 2007

Tsunami warning withdrawn

PETALING JAYA: The tsunami warning issued for four northern states was withdrawn by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry at about 11pm, two hours after the Meteorological Department issued an alert following an earthquake in Indonesia. Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis said the action was taken based on information received from department and other related authorities. Contact with Indonesian counterparts revealed that only a small tsunami was detected off Padang, he added. Dr Jamaluddin told The Star that the alert to the public was put out within 15 minutes of the information having been confirmed. Residents in several northern states in the peninsula had been put on an alert and warned to stay away from beaches after a powerful earthquake measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale struck off Sumatra at 7.10pm yesterday.

ABOVE:On-site advisory: A policeman advising the public to stay away from the seafront at the Esplanade in Penang earlier Wednesday night.
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ABOVE & BELOW: Butit was business as usual for most people at the Esplanade in Penang, ignoring the warnings

Fishermen were also asked to quickly return to shore. Dr Jamaluddin explained that latest information during a tsunami alert would be relayed to the police, relevant departments and the media as soon as they were confirmed. “The public will be able receive notices of evacuation via announcements on TV, radio and SMS within 15 minutes after information is relayed electronically from the buoys,” he pointed out. This was the first serious tsunami alert in Malaysia following the deadly tsunami disaster on Dec 26, 2004. Dr Jamaluddin said the possibility of a tsunami occurring could be detected via buoys placed in the Andaman Sea and near Pulau Layang-Layang off Sabah. According to an update issued at 8.50pm on the Meteorological Department website, a tsunami was detected at Padang, Indonesia, with a wave height of one to three metres.

ABOVE & BELOW: High aves were sen at Kuala Kedah, Yan

In Sungai Petani, hundreds of residents living in 10 coastal villages in Kota Kuala Muda fled their homes for a few hours following the tsunami alert. This reduced the villages to “eerie” zones, with only police personnel and firemen patrolling. For former fisherman Jamaluddin Mat Isa, 60, who was crippled following injuries suffered in the 2004 tsunami, the alert brought back horrendous memories. The fears of his wife, Siti Esah Che Noh, 51, and 10 children were further compounded when they were asked to move back to their home in Kampung Kepala Jalan, which is about 20m from the sea, on March 30, after being relocated following the 2004 tsunami.

Residents from about 20 households in Kampung Tepi Sungai packed their important documents and spent the night at relatives' homes away from the area. A police spokesman said they had been directed to patrol the coastal area in Kota Kuala Muda until at least midnight.
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Thursday September 13, 2007
Penang seaside spots cleared for fear of tsunami

PENANG: Gurney Drive and the Esplanade here were cleared of people as soon as police received the Meteorological Department’s tsunami alert after the 8.2-magnitude earthquake in southern Sumatra last evening. George Town OCPD Asst Comm Azam Abd Hamid said patrol cars were immediately sent to these seaside haunts, which are popular with the locals for their hawker food and the sea breeze.

Police personnel warned the people to stay away from the promenade fronting the sea. State executive councillor Teng Chang Yeow said the Fire and Rescue Department had been put on stand-by. At the beach resorts in Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi, guests were advised to remain in the hotel.
Parkroyal Penang marketing communications manager Karen Chee said the hotel’s security department set up a camera on the rooftop to watch out for incoming tidal waves. The tsunami alert was called off at 11pm. Penang island was affected by the Dec 26, 2004, tsunami generated by an undersea quake west of Aceh in northern Sumatra. The killer waves struck the island as well as the coastal areas of Kedah, killing about 50 people.

In KLANG, the Selangor marine police were also put on standby although Selangor was not among the four states – Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak – on tsunami alert. “We have our men and equipment ready should the need arise,” said state marine police chief Asst Supt Mohd Khairuddin Jalam.




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