Earthquake hits Indonesia, tsunami warnings out

Acehnese people try to go to higher ground after a powerfull earthquake hit the western coast of Sumatera in Banda Aceh on April 11, 2012.

Jeremy Hobson: There are tsunami watches and warnings around the Indian Ocean this morning after a magnitude 8.6 quake struck off the coast of Indonesia about three hours ago. Since that initial quake, there have been aftershocks measuring as high as 8.2.

For the latest, let's bring in reporter Nidhi Dutt in Jakarta, Indonesia. Good morning.

Nidhi Dutt: Good morning.

Hobson: Bring us up to date on what’s going on there. I know there have been some big aftershocks after the initial quake. Are you feeling those in Jakarta?

Dutt: We’re not feeling them in Jakarta but as you say, this is the cause for concern at the moment . We’ve just as well seen in the last few minutes some other pretty heavy aftershocks at the moment in the region where the first earthquake struck so immediately, it’s the aftershock and really watching out in the epicenter if anything, if the damage is there and what happened.

Hobson: Now I know the big concern now is for a tsunami possibly, across the Indian Ocean, not just in Indonesia. Are the countries around the region more prepared now given the huge Tsunami that struck in 2004?

Dutt: Absolutely. Given the enormity of what we saw in 2004, one could easily say there were many lessons learnt on the parts of the government and regional responses. You’re seeing countries as far away as India issuing very quickly tsunami alerts and evacuation measures. However, one can say that that doesn’t take away from the initial fears on the part of the people in these areas.

Hobson: What about economic impacts? What are people paying attention to now when it comes to possible economic effects?

Dutt: Absolutely. In the early days, you’re looking at things like ports closing, that certainly has an economic impact. You’re looking at places in Thailand we’re hearing that airports are looking at things like what to do with flights and hopefully –many of the people in these areas will be hoping that this is something that won’t be continuing for much longer.

Hobson: Reporter Nidhi Dutt joining us from Jakarta, Indonesia. Thanks very much.

Dutt: You’re welcome, thank you.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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