Indonesia Quake Expected to Cause Tsunamis within 24 Hours

By JULIAN GAVAGHAN | MAIL ONLINE | APRIL 11, 2012

Buildings shook for four minutes and there were reports of people jumping from windows in a desperate attempt to escape.

Patients also poured out of hospitals, some with drips still attached to their arms. In some places, electricity was briefly cut.

Then, two hours later, a massive aftershock – with a similarly huge magnitude of 8.2 – struck only 110 miles further out to sea, unleashing even more panic.

A tsunami alert was issued for other countries across the Indian Ocean today, including India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Burma, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.

There are fears of a repeat of the 9.1-magnitude quake seven years go that triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people. Nearly three quarters lived in Aceh, which is on the Sumatra island.

The first quake, which was centred 20 miles beneath the ocean floor, was later thought unlikely to have triggered a fatal wave.

However, the aftershock, which  was centred 10 miles beneath the ocean around 380 miles from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, may yet unleash a tsunami.

Roger Musson, seismologist at the British geological survey who has studied Sumatra’s fault lines, said the first tremor was a strike-slip quake, not a thrust quake, which causes the sea bed to flip up.

Mr Cameron is visiting the country’s capital, Jakarta, which is 1,600 miles south-east of the province and on a different island, Java. No tremors have been felt there and the city is unlikely to be hit.

He told President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: ‘Our thoughts should be with those who are affected.

‘Britain of course stands ready to help if help is required.

‘We will stand with you and your government and your people at this time of worry.

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8.6 Magnitude Earthquake hits off Indonesia

By REZA MUNAWIR from BANDA ACEH | REUTERS | APRIL 11, 2012

A powerful 8.6 magnitude earthquake and strong aftershocks struck off Indonesia on Wednesday, sending people as far away as southern India scurrying from buildings and raising fears of a disastrous tsunami as in 2004.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in Aceh, the Indonesian province closest to the initial earthquake. But an aftershock of almost the same magnitude, less deep that the first quake, hit soon after he finished speaking.

The first quake struck at 4.38 a.m EDT and an 8.2 magnitude aftershock just over two hours later, at 6.43 a.m. EDT. Two more strong aftershocks hit later.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued fresh tsunami warnings for the entire Indian Ocean after the aftershocks. Authorities in Indonesia said there were reports of sea-levels rising off Aceh, but by less than a metre (3.3 feet).

But authorities in India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands, to the north of where the quakes struck, said waves of up to 3.9 metres (13 feet) could hit there.

Individual countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, issued their own tsunami warnings and people near the coast in six Thai provinces were ordered to move to higher ground. Authorities shut down the international airport in the Thai beach resort province of Phuket.

The quakes were about 300 miles southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, the U.S. Geological survey said. The first was at a depth of 20.5 miles.

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.

“The electricity is down, there are traffic jams to access higher ground. Sirens and Koran recitals from mosques are everywhere,” said Sutopo, spokesman for the agency.

Yudhoyono, speaking after the first quake, said there were no signs of a disaster.

“There is no tsunami threat although we are on alert,” said he said at a joint news conference in Jakarta with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said Britain was standing ready to help if needed.

“The situation in Aceh is under control, there’s a little bit of panic but people can go to higher ground,” Yudhoyono said.

Warning sirens rang out across the Thai island of Phuket, a tourist hotspot that was one of the worst hit areas in the 2004 tsunami.

“Guests from expensive hotels overlooking Phuket’s beaches were evacuated to the hills behind and local people were driving away in cars and on motorcycles. Everyone seemed quite calm, the warning had been issued well in advance,” freelance journalist Apichai Thonoy told Reuters by telephone.

OUT ON THE STREETS

Indonesian television showed people gathering in mosques in Banda Aceh. Many others were on the streets, holding crying children.

In the city of Medan, a hospital evacuated patients, who were wheeled out on beds and in wheelchairs.

Yudhoyono said he had ordered a disaster relief team to fly to Aceh, which was devastated by the 9.1 magnitude 2004 quake, which sent huge tsunami waves crashing into Sumatra, where 170,000 people were killed, and across the Indian Ocean.

In all, the 2004 tsunami killed about 230,000 people in 13 Indian Ocean countries, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.

Wednesday’s quakes were felt as far away as the Thai capital, Bangkok, and in southern India, hundreds of office workers in the city of Bangalore left their buildings while the port of Chennai closed down because of tsunami fears.

The quakes were in roughly in the same area as the 2004 quake, which was at a depth of 18 miles along a fault line running under the Indian Ocean, off western Indonesia and up into the Bay of Bengal.

One expert told the BBC at least Wednesday’s first quake was a “strike-slip” fault, meaning a more horizontal shift of the ground under the sea as opposed to a sudden vertical shift, and less risk of a large displacement of water triggering a tsunami.

The quakes were also felt in Sri Lanka, where office workers in the capital, Colombo, fled their offices.

Mahinda Amaraweera, Sri Lanka’s minister for disaster management, called for calm while advising people near the coast to seek safety.

“I urge the people not to panic. We have time if there is a tsunami going to come. So please evacuate if you are in the coastal area and move to safer places,” Amaraweera told a private television channel.

In Bangladesh, where two tremors were felt, authorities said there appeared to be no threat of a tsunami. Australia also said there was no threat of a tsunami there.

UN warns climate change could trigger ‘mega-disasters’

The same people who brought us Anthropogenic Global Warming, Climategate, Sustainability and the toxic Green Revolution now warn us about mega-disasters to come due to Climate Change.  Should we believe them?  Should we even pay attention to them?  Yes, but not for their science.  Even knowing all the history of the planet’s climate, they weren’t able -or did not want to- tell us the truth about the Earth’s state of affairs.  Can they be truthful about it now?  NO.  We should be concerned about their warnings because these same globalists are the owners of Laser Weapons and Weather modification technology to make any disaster happen.

AFP

Weather-related catastrophes brought about by climate change are increasing, the top UN humanitarian official said Sunday as he warned of the possibility of “mega-disasters”.

John Holmes, the UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, said one of the biggest challenges facing the aid community was the problems stemming from changing weather patterns.

“When it comes meteorological disasters, weather-related disasters, then there is a trend upwards connected with climate change,” Holmes, who is in Australia for high-level talks on humanitarian aid, told AFP.

“The trend is there is terms of floods, and cyclones, and droughts.”

Holmes, who is the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, said it had been a tough year due to January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, which killed more than 250,000 people.

He said while earthquakes, such as the 7.0-magnitude quake which levelled the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, were random, weather-related natural disasters were increasing in number and scale.

“It’s partly the very obvious things like the number of cyclones and the intensity of the cyclones, and the amount of flooding,” he said.

“But is also in slightly more invisible ways — in Africa with drought spreading, desertification spreading.”

Holmes said officials were particularly concerned about places where a combination of factors — such as large populations, or likelihood of earthquake, or susceptibility to rising sea levels — made them more vulnerable.

“One of things we worry about is mega cities could produce, at some point, a mega disaster,” he said.

“Cities like Kathmandu for example, which sits on two earthquake faults, where a large earthquake will come along… and the results could be catastrophic.”

Holmes said while some countries were well-prepared for disaster — such as Chile which was hit with a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake in February which left 520 people dead — others such as Haiti were less able to manage.

“That’s one of the reasons we want to focus on not just how we respond to disaster, we need to do that, but how you reduce the impact of those disasters before they happen,” Holmes said.

In Haiti, the situation remained serious, he said, with some 1.5 million people living in makeshift shelters and little prospect of this changing soon.

“There are real concerns about how vulnerable people still are, despite all the efforts that have been made,” he said.

Holmes said the need for humanitarian aid was rising faster than resources were available, particularly given the long-running conflicts in areas such as Sudan’s Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At the same time, climate change would likely set in chain migration due to drought or rising sea levels or conflicts due to a scarcity of water or arable land in coming years and these would place more pressure on funds.

“So all these things are going to create more problems for us, and we’re really just coming to grips with what the consequences might be,” Holmes said.

“And you can construct some extremely scary scenarios for yourself without too much trouble.

“For example, about what the effect might be of glaciers melting in the Himalayas. Now we don’t quite know whether that’s happening, or will happen, or not. But if it did, what would the effect be on the major river systems of southern Asia?”

Holmes said while a decade ago, climate change was not on officials’ radars, “now it’s on everybody’s agenda.”

“Climate change for us is not some future indeterminate threat, it’s happening in front of our eyes,” he said. “We can see it.”