Indian Ocean tsunami threat creates unease
April 11, 2012
CHENNAI, India — A tsunami alert was issued April 11 for parts of India, Kenya and Tanzania after an 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck northern Indonesia. Tremors occurred throughout the Indian Ocean region including in Chennai, India, where CFCA serves about 3,500 families. There were no reports of injuries among sponsored persons or staff members.
Reuters reported that the earthquake occurred on the northern tip of Indonesia, nearly 300 miles southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, at 3:38 a.m. Central time April 11.
A second earthquake, with a magnitude of 8.2, occurred two hours later off the west coast of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.
In India, the tsunami alert was issued in the southeastern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Schools and businesses closed early following the alert.
Seema M., interim coordinator for CFCA’s Chennai project office in Tamil Nadu, reported that staff members at the office felt mild tremors.
Chennai is a city of about 4.6 million people on the Indian Ocean coast. The government withdrew the tsunami alert after no significant waves were reported.
CFCA projects in Kenya are located more inland, but the Dar es Salaam project in Tanzania is located near the coast of the Indian Ocean. Both Kenya and Tanzania were issued tsunami alerts.
Although the alert for Kenya’s coastal provinces was withdrawn late Wednesday evening, people remain fearful of another natural disaster, said Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison in Nairobi.
“They (government officials) said that it is safe,” Mburu said. “Though people are still scared and activities near the Indian Ocean have reduced. The tourists and local people are staying away from the beaches.”
CFCA serves about 21,600 children, youth and aging persons through three projects in Kenya and 1,800 through the Dar es Salaam project in Tanzania.
Please keep those affected by the earthquakes in your prayers.
(CFCA communications liaison Sreekanth Gundoji in Hyderabad, India, contributed information for this story, which was updated April 12.)