BANGALORE, INDIA: An 8.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday, sending residents around the region dashing out of their homes and offices in fear. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami watch was in effect for the entire Indian Ocean and individual countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, issued tsunami warnings.
The quake struck 308 miles southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, at a depth of 20.5 miles, the U.S. Geological survey said.
The quake was felt in Singapore, Thailand and India. In India, tremors were reported in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and the southern part of Chennai. The tremors lasted for a few seconds. In Bhubaneshwar, people were seen running out of their homes and offices. No damage has been reported so far. Hundreds of office workers in Bangalore left their buildings while the Indian port of Chennai closed down because of the danger of a tsunami, the port said.
Infosys campus located at Electronic City, which has over thousands of employees, was evacuated following the tremors. HCL, Wipro, MindTree, IBM, Mphasis and other large IT firms have huge presence in the city. Bangalore, which is considered to be safe from natural calamities and hosts many data centers including the third largest data center, built by Tulip Telecom. However, no major impact of the earthquake was seen here and no casualties reported so far.
The quake was in roughly in the same area as a December 26, 2004, quake of 9.1 magnitude, which sent huge tsunami waves crashing into Sumatra, where 170,000 people were killed, and across the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile social media site Twitter is abuzz with trweets on earthquake. Some tweets quoting USGS ( U.S. Geological Survey) spokesperson says that tsunami is less likely because earthquake off Indonesia moved horizontally, not vertically.