Home Min withdraws tsunami warning for A&N, coastal states

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) The Home Ministry tonight lifted the Tsunami warning issued for Andaman and Nicobar Islands and coastal areas of Eastern India after a strong earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia's Sumatra Island.

A Home Ministry spokesman said the Tsunami alert for the Andaman and Nicobar islands had been withdrawn as the time for the killer tsunami waves to reach the Islands following the earthquake near Sumatra had passed.

''However, a watch would be maintained,'' he said.

The Indonesian government had already withdrawn the Tsunami warning which was issued following an earthquake in southern Sumatra at 1641 hrs IST today. The warning was issued to all the Indian Ocean countries as the epicentre of the quake was located at 04.4 degrees South latitude and 102 degrees East longitude.

The Union Home Ministry had issued a 'red alert' for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and advised the Island administration to take all precautionary measures. It had asked the administration to alert the people in the coastal areas and be in the highest state of preparedness.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Poducherry had also been asked to maintain a vigil. The Ministry of Home Affairs is constantly monitoring the situation.

The army, airforce, navy and para-military forces were also alerted.

The National Disaster Management Force was also asked to remain alert to deal with any enventuality.

Fishermen were advised not to venture in the sea in view of the possibility of Tsunami.

However, after the lapse of over four hours, the possibility of Tsunami waves hitting the Indian coastline diminished, so the Ministry withdrew the Tsunami warning.

UNI

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