Tsunami watch issued after Indian Ocean quake

The quake struck at 1:55 a.m. (3:55 p.m. ET) about 163 miles north of Port Blair, Andaman Islands.
A tsunami watch has been issued after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean near India’s Andaman Islands, authorities said.

The watch covers India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Bangladesh, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The quake struck at 1:55 a.m. (3:55 p.m. ET), about 163 miles (262 km) north of Port Blair, Andaman Islands, and 225 miles south-southwest of Pathein, Myanmar, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its focus was about 20 miles below the Earth’s surface. In general, earthquakes centered closer to the Earth’s surface produce stronger shaking and can cause more damage than those further underground. Watch where the earthquakes hit ยป “Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a destructive local tsunami and sometimes a destructive regional tsunami along coasts located usually no more than a thousand kilometers from the earthquake epicenter,” said the bulletin from the tsunami warning center. “It is not known that a tsunami was generated. This watch is based only on the earthquake evaluation. Authorities in the region should take appropriate action in response to this possibility.” The estimated tsunami travel time would be an hour or less to the coasts of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, according to a bulletin issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

A tsunami would reach the coastlines of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia within one to three hours. According to the geological survey, a 6.4-magnitude quake struck near the south coast of Honshu, Japan, 12 minutes after the Indian Ocean quake. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory following that quake, but said that the expected wave would be under 2 feet.