Indian Ocean tsunamis kill hundreds in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia
An earthquake of magnitude 8.9 on the Richter scale occured on 26th December UTC 00:58, with its epicentre in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of northern Sumatra.
The earthquake set off tsunamis that have hit several countries of maritime southern Asia. Sri Lanka and Maldives have announced national emergencies, and the Indian cabinet’s Crisis Management Group has appointed Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to oversee relief operations. The death toll is in the hundreds in the South Asian countries, and is climbing wildly. Scores of people have died in the three South East Asian countries.
- The Command Post and Reuters Alertnet have have the latest. Malaysian blogger Jeff Ooi covers news of this disaster in greater detail from a variety of news sources. Geological details from the USGS.
- The Indian Navy is lending a hand to the Sri Lankan rescue effort
Five Naval warships loaded with relief supplies have left for Sri Lanka as Indian Air Force despatched three AN-32 transport aircrafts carrying relief and medical supplies to earthquake and tidal wave devastated Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands.
Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash has directed that five Naval warships from Mumbai, Cochin and Vishakhapatnam to set sail for Trinconmalli and Gallie ports in Sri Lanka in response to a SOS received from the Sri Lankan government.
He said warships are carrying rescue helicopters and boats, naval divers and relief and medical supplies and will be assisting the Sri Lankan navy in rescue operations.
Three AN-32 IAF transport aircrafts left for Port Blair and Karnic airfields in the Andaman group of Islands carrying relief and medical supplies. [TOI]
- How the Indian Government is managing the crisis.
- India is providing emergency assistance to the Maldives
- The scale of the disaster in unknown in Myanmar as it remains absurdly quiet.
- Wikipedia’s comprehensive coverage (via Dina Mehta)