News24

Sri Lanka, India, Thais lift tsunami alert

2012-04-11 15:56


Colombo - Sri Lanka on Wednesday lifted a tsunami alert issued after an 8.6 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia sparked fears of giant waves hitting coasts across the Indian Ocean.

"Return to usual places of residence," the Disaster Management Centre said in a statement withdrawing the alert in line with advice from the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

"It is now safe for people to go back to their homes," a government spokesperson said on state television.

The alert saw thousands of people leave their coastal homes and move to higher ground, fearing a repeat of the December 2004 tsunami which claimed some 30 000 lives on the island.

Before the all-clear was given, police and security forces helped residents evacuate coastlines as authorities used radio and television to urge people to move away from the beach.

India

India withdrew a national tsunami alert issued after huge earthquakes struck off Indonesia on Wednesday, the Indian tsunami warning centre said.

"Thankfully, the danger has passed," a scientist at the centre told Reuters.

Disaster officials had earlier warned waves as high as 3.9m could hit parts of India's Andoman and Nicobar islands. A few thousand people were evacuated from the more vulnerable islands, a police official said.

Thailand has cancelled a tsunami warning in six of the country's Andaman coast provinces that was issued after a huge earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia, a cabinet minister said on Wednesday.