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Tsunami ruled out after five quakes hit India's Nicobar Islands

English.news.cn   2014-03-22 02:20:42

PORT BLAIR, India, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Indian government has ruled out tsunami after the country's Andaman and Nicobar islands at the Bay of Bengal were jolted by a series of earthquakes Friday evening.

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on Richter scale took place some 70 km east of Indira Point at 19:11 p.m. local time. No casualty has been reported so far, said government officials here.

The quake was at a depth of 9.92 km about 108.8 km southeast of Misha, Nicobar Islands, in the Indian Ocean, said the U.S. Geological Survey earlier. According to the State Control Room of Local Disaster Management, it was followed by four other quakes from 19:14 p.m. to 21:18 p.m. all at Nicobar islands.

"We do not see any threat of a Tsunami warning due to this. However, we have issued a general warning and have kept our system on high alert," Shailesh Nayak, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), told the media.

The MoES officials said the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are prone to earthquakes as the area is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

While no tremors were felt at Car Nicobar island, where the headquarters of the Indian military forces on the islands are located, the jolt was greatly felt in the Central Nicobars where people started feeling giddy following the tremors.

Phone lines in the entire Nicobar District showed poor connectivity, with government telecom BSNL being the only service provider. No damage to lives and properties was reported so far.

Real-time measurements of wave activity indicated that no significant tsunami was generated. When no major waves have occurred at least for two hours after the estimated arrival time, the local authorities can assume that the threat is passed.

As local conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami wave action, "cancellation" of national warnings and the "all clear" decision or "all clear" determination must be made by national or state or local authorities.

The Indian government officials in Delhi said earlier that tsunami has been ruled out from the quake.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian union territory at the Bay of Bengal, are prone to earthquakes.

The archipelago, with over 500 uninhabited islands, was hit by a devastating tsunami following a huge eastern Indian ocean earthquake in late 2004.

Editor: yan
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