UPDATED 12:25am — Yet another powerful earthquake has hit a few hundred kilometres west of Indonesia. On Late Thursday evening an aftershock, estimated to be M8.2, struck near the original 8.6 quake.
Reports were coming in of tides rushing out – a sure sign of an impending tsunami – however at the time of this update tsunami watches were being scaled back.
There is NO tsunami threat to New Zealand from these two very powerful earthquakes according to New Zealand’s Civil Defence.
Earlier story (10:30pm)
Experts interviewed by CNN tonight say a repeat of the catastrophic Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 is not expected – but urge that even a small tsunami could be damaging.
A short time ago the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) – which monitors all oceans – says a small 30cm (1 foot) tsunami has been detected in Indonesian waters. While small, they say a tsunami “may already have been destructive along some coasts”
NO TSUNAMI WARNING in force for the Indian Ocean – but an Ocean-wide watch has been issued.
However Indonesia, Thailand and India have issued local tsunami warnings according to CNN.
A preliminary report said the quake measured magnitude 8.7 and was just 33kms deep. The USGS has revised that to 8.6 and 23kms deep. Another report says 8.5.
Either way the quake is the biggest since the 9.0 quake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.
Tonight’s quake struck very close to where the Boxing Day quake and tsunami occurred in 2004 killing 240,000 people.
Earthquakes of this size (M8.6) have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean Basin says the USGS.
CNN says there have been no reports of tides rushing out, which occurred before the Boxing Day Tsunami.
Structural damage to buildings has filtered in over the past hour from islands closer to the epicentre, but experts say the quake so far off the mainland, quake damage should not be major.
An Indian Ocean Tsunami Watch remains in force for numerous nations, including Australia.
New Zealand’s Civil Defence confirms that NO Tsunami Warning or Watch is expected for New Zealand
CURRENT TSUNAMI WATCH:
Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Madagascar, Iran, Uae, Yemen, Comores, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, South Africa, Singapore.
– WeatherWatch.co.nz with USGS and PTWC