People gather outside a mosque
after the quake in Aceh
Indonesia, India lift tsunami warning
Jakarta, April 11, 2012
Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka have lifted the tsunami warning issued after the massive earthquake measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale in Indonesia this afternoon.
A little over two hours after the first earthquake, Indonesia reported an aftershock that hovered around 8.2 on the Richter scale.
Lifitng the warning, Sri Woro Harijono, head of Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), said on Metro TV: 'People can return to their homes.'
Panicked residents, remembering a 2004 tsunami that killed 170,000 people on Sumatra's Aceh province, poured out of their homes and fled coastal areas after the massive quake.
A second round of tremors was felt in India in cities like Kolkata and Chennai at 4.25 pm, but there was no tsunami threat from these aftershocks. India's Nicobar Islands, closest to the epicentre of the quake, is still on alert.
The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii also canceled its warning of a possible tsunami.
'Sea level readings now indicate that the threat has diminished for most areas, therefore the tsunami watch issued by this center is now canceled,' it said.
The quake was felt in Singapore, Thailand and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia's west coast shook for at least a minute.
Indonesia's disaster management agency said power was down in Aceh province and people were gathering on high ground as sirens warned of the danger.