Binsar Bakkara/AP
Weh Island, Aceh Province, Indonesia

Indonesia Quake Causes Temporary Tsunami Warning

February 11, 2009 02:48 PM
by Josh Katz
Indonesia issued a tsunami warning after a large earthquake hit near the island of Sulawesi, but the country has since lifted that alert.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake occurred in the waters of the eastern coast of Indonesia on Thursday morning, and the country issued a tsunami warning. But Sky News reports that Indonesia lifted the warning an hour later.

The effects of the quake are still being assessed, but the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center claimed that, “no destructive widespread tsunami threat existed,” according to MSNBC. However, the agency said that “earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that could be destructive along coasts located within roughly 60 miles of the quake epicenter,” MSNBC writes.

The earthquake was centered off the northeast coast of Sulawesi, one of the larger Indonesian islands.

Reuters India also reports that “Japan’s meteorological agency might issue tsunami messages for countries in the northwest Pacific and South China Sea, and if the information was conflicting, the more conservative information should be used for safety.”

There are many volcanoes and fault lines located in and around Indonesia, part of an area known as the “Ring of Fire.” For that reason, the country is susceptible to frequent earthquakes.

In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude quake hit Indonesia. It generated a tsunami that “killed more than 232,000 people in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and other countries across the Indian Ocean,” according to MSNBC.

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