Monday, August 10, 2009

Tsunami Watch 2009: Let us Hope for the Best

Just 100 minutes ago from now, I experienced an earth quake in my house in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I think that it was almost 3 AM at night on 11 August 2009. I was working in my PC and suddenly, my chair started to shake. At first, I thought that may be my health was some tired after a long day work and that is why, I felt that day. Then, my co-blogger of this blog, Mehdi Hassan told me that an earthquake was happening and I also realized it. It continued for almost half a minute I guess. It was surely a scary experience for me as I live in an apartment situated in the fourth floor. I turned on local TV channels and could not find any news. Then I browsed two Bangladeshi community blog sites and I found that many people had the same experience like me.

Then, I started browsing Google News and gradually could find some updates about the earth quake. What I realized is that two earthquakes took place in Asia tonight. One took place in Japan and you can read some more about it here: Magnitude-6.6 Earthquake Hits off Japan; Tsunami Strikes Coast

Another one struck near the Andaman: Tsunami watch issued after Indian Ocean quake

I think that the earthquake that originated in the Andaman Sea came here and we touched it. Thanks God that nothing happened in my city Dhaka. It is still too early to know about the possible devastations that the earthquake might have caused. After few hours, things should get clear.

Unfortunately, Dhaka is perhaps the most densely populated city on earth and there is almost no preparation for an earthquake. We are perhaps on the mercy of God and nature. I think that it is time that Bangladeshi decision makers take this matter very seriously. Of course, common people have to become conscious about it too. I think that the media can play an important role in this regard.

I could find some more updates in different websites and I am quoting from some of their reports:

Reuters reported:

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.7, struck at 1:55 a.m. (8:05 p.m. British time on Monday). It was shallow, at a depth of 20.6 miles (33 km), and was centred 160 miles (260 km) north of Port Blair.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami watch for the region.

"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 kilometres (about 600 miles) from the earthquake epicentre," the tsunami centre said in its bulletin.

RTE News wrote:

The Andaman Islands were badly hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami, which was caused by an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra and sent giant waves crashing into countries around the Indian Ocean.

Elsewhere, a strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 has hit eastern and central Japan and rattled houses in Tokyo.

The quake, which struck at 5.07am (9.07pm Irish time), prompted a tsunami warning for waves of up to 50cm for parts of the Pacific coast, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Sky News wrote:

Around 22 minutes later, a second earthquake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale, jolted eastern and central Japan.

Houses in the capital Tokyo were rattled by the quake and food and bottles were thrown from shop shelves.

Some roads were closed after electric signboards stopped working, at least one train line was halted and a nuclear power station in Hamaoka closed two units for safety checks.

Canberra Times wrote:

The alert singled out parts of India, including the Andaman Islands, Port Blair, Great Nicobar, Kainada and Baleshwar, to be the first to be potentially affected by any tsunami the quake generated.

The Pyinkayaing, Cheduba Island, Sittwe, Mergui and Yangon regions of Burma were listed as at risk.

Banda Aceh in Indonesia - the same region devastated by a tsunami in 2004 - was singled out, as was Chittagong in Bangladesh.

Is this an indication that another Tsunami may hit East Asia and South Asia in 2009? I hope that it does not happen. What is so worrying is the matter that two earthquakes took place at the same night. Tsunami stroke Asia in 2004 and caused massive death and destruction to South Asia and South East Asia. In 2004, luckily, it did not touch my own country Bangladesh.

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