A very large, shallow earthquake occurred at 11:10 UTC today. The earthquake epicenter is located in the Indian Ocean, about 375 miles from Jakarta, Indonesia, and is currently estimated at magnitude 7.9. The magnitude of the earthquake and the shallow depth of the quake have lead the Pacific Tsunami Warning center to put a tsunami watch into effect for the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately, there are still not a lot of sea level gauges in the area, so it’s not yet known if a tsunami occurred.
Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by the quake, and with those who might be affected if there is a tsunami.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is now estimating the magnitude of the quake at 8.2, and a few media reports have come in indicating that the quake caused buildings to sway for “several minutes” in Jakarta, and was felt in Singapore and Thailand.
Update 2: 8:45am
PTWC now reports, based on a tide gauge in Padang, Indonesia, that a tsunami has been generated. The good news at this point is that the first wave detected was small – 0.35M (1.2 feet) high. It’s not yet known if this is going to be the biggest wave produced, so an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch remains in effect.