11.04.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

Indian Ocean Tsunami warning System activated following earthquake off Sumatra

A tsunami alert was issued in the Indian Ocean today following a strong earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia that triggered waves of an amplitude of up to almost one metre.

The earthquake measured 8.6 on the Richter scale, occurred 434km south-west of Banda Aceh Province in Sumatra at 08.38 UTC. It was followed by an aftershock of 8.2 at 10.43 UTC.

A tsunami warning was issued across the region at 08.43  UTC by the  Indonesian Meteorological service (BMKG). This was followed minutes later by warnings from other Indian Ocean Regional Tsunami Advisory Service Providers (RTSPs) in India and Australia, as well as from Japan’s Meteorological Agency and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii.

The Indian Ocean Regional Tsunami Service Providers of Australia, India and Indonesia are monitoring the event and issuing tsunami advisories to the National Tsunami Warning Centres of the Indian Ocean region.  Public bulletins are also available at:

Australia:     http://www.bom.gov.au/tsunami/

India:            http://www.incois.gov.in/Incois/tsunami/eqevents.jsp

Indonesia:    http://rtsp.bmkg.go.id

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii is also issuing detailed bulletins at: http://ptwc.weather.gov/text.php?id=indian.TSUIOX.2012.04.11.0845.

Following the undersea earthquake on 26 December 2004 and the subsequent strongest tsunami in living memory, UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) coordinated the establishment of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS). The response included the establishment of an interim Advisory Service provided through the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).   Regional Tsunami Service Providers (RTSPs) in India, Indonesia and Australia are now the primary source of tsunami advisories for the Indian Ocean. The PTWC and JMA will continue to operate a parallel service until the end of 2012.

IOC/UNESCO is also coordinating the establishment of tsunami warning systems for the North Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Connected Seas, and the Caribbean.




Media contact: Sue Williams, Tel: +33 1 45 68 17 06; s.williams@unesco.org

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