Major 7.5-quake strikes off India's Nicobar Islands
(AFP) "" 5 hours ago
NEW DELHI "" A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck under the Indian Ocean on Sunday, triggering a tsunami watch for nearby islands and causing tremors reportedly felt along India's eastern seaboard.
The quake hit at 1:26 am local time (1926 GMT) at a depth of 35 kilometres (22 miles) with the epicentre around 160 kilometres west of India's Nicobar Islands.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Hawaii, initially issued a warning for the entire Indian Ocean region. This was downgraded to a warning for India only, when the magnitude of the quake was revised to 7.5 from 7.7, and later the centre cancelled the alert altogether.
"Sea level readings indicate that a significant tsunami was not generated," the centre said in a bulletin.
India's ocean information centre issued a "tsunami watch" for 10-15 islands, but said it was expecting only a mild surge in sea levels of about 50 centimetres (20 inches).
"This is nothing alarming, but just a watch," Sriniwas Kumar, a spokesman from the state-run Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services told AFP by telephone from the agency's headquarters in Hyderabad.
The tremors were felt more than 1,000 kilometres from the epicentre on mainland India, where many were shaken awake in the dead of night, causing some to flee their homes in panic, the Press Trust of India reported.
Moderate tremors were felt in the southeastern coastal city of Chennai, but there were no reports of casualties or damage to property, according to police.
The US Geological Survey initially gave the magnitude of the quake as 7.7 before revising it down to 7.5.