Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) on Wednesday withdrew a Tsunami alert hours after it was issued triggering a countrywide worry prompting authorities to order rescue preparedness.
“According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS), there is no Tsunami Threat for Bangladesh coast,” the BMD said in an official announcement.
An 8.9-magnitude undersea tremor in Indonesia’s northern Aceh province and subsequent aftershocks in the region also shook Bangladesh while officials in coastline districts earlier said preparedness was underway to launch evacuation campaign in a short notice.
The BMD earlier issued a “Tsunami Bulletin” saying “a tsunami was likely to affect the coast of Bangladesh at 22.51 BST (10.51 pm) and “for the sake of precaution and safety of the coastal people, the related agencies are advised to be watchful from 1500 BST up to midnight.”
The bulletin came as tsunami alerts or evacuation orders were issued for parts of Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The British Geological Survey (BGS), however, earlier said the risk of a tsunami being generated by the giant earthquake off Sumatra was “low” as the earthquake’s “movement was horizontal, not vertical”.
It said the quake caused no apparent movement of the sea floor, what triggers tsunamis although an earthquake of this magnitude has the potential to cause a large tsunami.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said an 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra at 2:38 p.m. (0838 GMT) at a depth of 33 kilometers (14.2 miles).
Meanwhile, an earthquake followed by an aftershock jolted various parts of the country, including the capital, triggering panic among people.
The magnitude of the tremor was 8.7 on the Richter scale at its epicenter in North Sumatra of Indonesia, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
It said the earthquake shook the country at 2:38 pm (local time).
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in Bangladesh.
BBN/SSR/AD-11Apr12-9:18 pm (BST)