UPDATE: Tsunami watch lifted in most of Indian Ocean - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Tsunami watch lifted in most of Indian Ocean


BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (WKOW) -- A tsunami watch around the Indian Ocean has been lifted hours after two powerful earthquakes hit off Indonesia's western coast.

The 8.6- and 8.2-magnitude earthquakes triggered panic Wednesday afternoon. Residents in coastal cities fled to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii lifted a tsunami watch for most areas of the Indian Ocean about four hours after the first quake. It was still in effect for Indonesia, India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and the island territory of Diego Garcia.

Major damage or tsunami waves locally were not reported.


BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (WKOW) -- Indonesia has issued a new tsunami warning after an aftershock, with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 shook the western coast.
The first 8.6-magnitude quake off Aceh province, spawned a wave about 30 inches high and caused no serious damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor that followed was centered about 380 miles from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
A local official says the new warning was for residents living along the western coast of the country.  This includes Sumatra island and the Mentawai islands.


JAKARTA, Indonesia (WKOW) -- Indonesia has issued a tsunami warning after a downgraded 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck off its westernmost province Aceh.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday the quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 308 miles (495 kilometers) from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

The quake was felt as far away as Singapore, Thailand and India.

An official at Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said a tsunami warning has been issued.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, nearly three quarter of them in Aceh.

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