It’s now 12:40 here, about 2.5 hours after the Sumatra Earthquake. It seems pretty clear that there is not a Tsunami. Last time the wave took 1.5 hours to hit Kalmunai and 10-20 minutes to hit Banda Aceh. Channel News Asia and CNN had live reports from Banda Aceh and, despite largescale panic and evacuuation, there are no reports of any waves. Also nothing from Thailand, so it looks like this quake did not trigger a Tsunami.
These were the news-reports that I noticed in order. Note that all the timely reports came from international shows.
# BBC – those damn white people, telling us what to do
# ETV – carrying syndicated Channel News Asia
# TNL/Sirasa/Rupavahini – The Tsunami Czar guy was actually on TV – but he had no idea what was going on. At about 11:30 finally Sirasa finally switched to carrying a BBC feed, and then they all started carrying a ticker in Sinhala calling for evacuation (around 11:45, I think). Then they finally got talking heads, but no reports from the field
One problem here is that the international channels are useless for the people in Kalmunai and Batticaloa that actually need to know. Even when local channels started carrying BBC and CNN feeds they would’ve just scared the shit out of people who didn’t speak English without giving them much useful info. There has to be some local language news station paying attention.
Er, crappy. The Geological Survey people here got the last Earthquake reading about 10 minutes after last time, so I’d presume the same. That means they knew there was a sizable earthquake at about 10:20 (if someone was there). A friend from a news-station tried to contact them for a warning at about 11:30, but they refused. It didn’t start till about 11:45. If anything were to hit it would have been at about 11:30, so those 15 minutes would be important. It might make more sense to just have anything about 8.5 set an automatic trigger.
Er, excellent. Apparently Galle was semi-emptied cause he Astrologers said some shit would go down on the 29th. I am neither fore nor aft astrology, but I guess they get points on that one. They did miss the one that killed everybody, but whatevs.
My dad heard by SMS around 11:00. Around 11:30 I started getting SMS’s from random people, and sent a few. People also called/got called. That system was sending word of mouth warning before the government issued anything.
The earliest report I saw was 1616 UCT (like 10:16 Lanka time), from Brand New Malaysian, who got shook. I found the US Geological Survey hard to navigate, but by going through Google I was able to find the Earthquake report, which was on the news later as well. Tsunami Help has been kinda sleepy lately, and they didn’t post till 12:20 PM their time, which is 11:40 PM here I think. The USGS issues email bulletins, so maybe some authorities should get on that.
One problem is that the affectable areas are still kinda in the dark, despite all the previous attention. There weren’t any reports from Banda Aceh until about 11:30 (ARTV, CNN was what I saw), which is too bloody late to be very useful. The solution seems as simple as a home security system – put some cameras on the coast and monitor them. Aceh can feel it if there’s an Earthquake, but Sri Lanka needs to know what’s going on there – not Singapore, Malaysia, or Jakarta. We need instant reports on Banda Aceh. Is it underwater or not? I would personally pay for one Banda Acehian’s phone bill if he’d call every 15 minutes to confirm that he is not underwater.