Arakan

The land that is known as Arakan by the foreigners is called Rakhaing-pray by its own people, Rakhaing-thar (Arakanese) who were titled this name in honour of preservation on their national heritage and ethics or morality.

Massive Indonesia quake triggers tsunami alert

Posted by Arakan Indobhasa Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ABC

A huge earthquake and strong aftershocks struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island on Wednesday, triggering an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert that sent terrified people fleeing from the coast.

The 8.6-magnitude quake hit 431 kilometres off the city of Banda Aceh, and was followed by another undersea quake measured at 8.2, the US Geological Survey said.

Panicky residents poured into the streets of Banda Aceh, which was near the epicentre of a 9.1-magnitude quake in 2004 that unleashed an Indian Ocean tsunami which killed 220,000 people including 170,000 in Aceh province.

Wednesday's quake was felt as far afield as Thailand, where skyscrapers in the capital Bangkok swayed. India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Reunion Island, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma all issued alerts or evacuation orders.

    Look back at our live blog of the earthquake and tsunami warnings.

Small tsunamis hit Indonesia and Thailand, with waves of up to 80 centimetres in Aceh, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.

US seismologists then cancelled the tsunami warning, saying the quakes had generated only small waves and were nowhere near the scale of the disasters that struck Asia in 2004 and Japan last year.

But in Banda Aceh, there were chaotic scenes as people grabbed their families and raced through crowded streets, with motorbikes and cars jostling for space.

"There are people trying to evacuate, some are praying and children at a school were panicking as teachers tried to get them out," an AFP correspondent in Banda Aceh said.

"There are traffic jams everywhere as people are trying to get away from the coast - many are on motorcycles," he said, adding that telephone connections and electricity were patchy.

    You could hear the wood in the furniture cracking, the curtains were moving and the ceiling fan was rattling. I just picked up the children and ran downstairs.
    Tourist Maria Teresa Pizarro in Colombo

Television images showed hundreds gathering at a large mosque in Banda Aceh, many weeping and searching for family members. Women and girls draped head-to-toe in white were praying on mats laid out on the ground.

Sri Lanka issued a tsunami warning across the island and the disaster management centre asked residents on the coast to move inland to avoid being hit by any large waves.

In the capital Colombo, nervous crowds gathered on the streets after the strong quake.

"There was a first jolt for five seconds, then a pause and then a really big one. It was really frightening, the whole room was shaking," said 42-year-old tourist Maria Teresa Pizarro from the Philippines.

"You could hear the wood in the furniture cracking, the curtains were moving and the ceiling fan was rattling. I just picked up the children and ran downstairs," she said from the city's seafront Galle Face hotel.

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