Mozambique downplays tsunami threat
Maputo - Mozambique's top emergency official said on Wednesday the risk of a tsunami hitting the country had passed, after a regional watch was issued in the wake of a massive earthquake off Indonesia.
"If something was to happen, it would have happened by now," the head of emergency services, Dulce Chilundo told AFP.
According to their information, she said, the most likely time for a tsunami to have hit was earlier in the day in the northern part of the country, but so far nothing had been reported.
The 8.6-magnitude earthquake was followed by a massive aftershock, measuring 8.2, off the Indonesian island. US scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami watch for the entire Indian Ocean region.
Chilundo said Mozambican authorities would continue to monitor the situation.
Meanwhile, the Kenyan government has warned residents in coastal areas to move away from beaches and ordered schools in the area to close, saying a tsunami might hit at about 20:00.
"The government has issued a tsunami warning for the people living along the Kenyan coastline," Esther Murugi, minister for special programmes, told a press conference after a massive earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
"All fishermen and other people undertaking economic activities along the coastline ... among others, hoteliers, tour operators, water sports [operators] and curio shops, are advised to keep off the beaches immediately."