Kenya lifts tsunami warning

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 11, 2012 1:23 PM
Kenya lifts tsunami warning

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has lifted a tsunami warning along its coastline on Wednesday following a powerful earthquake off Indonesia, a senior meteorological official said.

A 8.6 magnitude earthquake and a series of aftershocks struck on Wednesday but there seemed little risk of a disastrous tsunami as in 2004.

"We are removing the alert, we are cancelling it," Senior Assistant Director at Kenya's Met office, Ali Mafimbo, told Reuters by phone.

Some 164 people were killed and more than 2,300 were displaced in Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Somalia after the disastrous 2004 Asian tsunami.

Tanzania said it expected waves of up to 1.5 meters to hit the coastline between 12.00 p.m. EDT and 2 p.m EDT.

"There will likely be huge waves in the Indian Ocean…all fishermen and other vessels should keep off the sea," Meteorological Agency director Agness Kijazi told Reuters. "People should evacuate coastlines, especially in northern parts of the country."

Madagascar's National Office for Disaster and Risk Management said it did not expect the tsunami to cause damage.

"We are not planning to move anybody. We urge people not to panic," Louis de Gonzague Rakotonirainy said.

(Reporting by Humphrey Malalo, George Obulutsa and Yara Bayoumy in Nairobi; Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala in Dar es Salaam; Alain Iloniaina in Antananarivo; Writing by Yara Bayoumy and George Obulutsa)