Strong quake hits Indian Ocean, no tsunami alert
Monday, 11 August 2008

NEW DELHI, Sun Aug 10,( - A strong earthquake of 6.0 magnitude struck in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, but no tsunami warning was issued, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The department had initially reported the quake at magnitude 6.6. The US Geological Survey measured it at 6.0. Officials said there were no reports of damages from the tremor which struck 145 km southwest of Port Blair, capital of India's remote Andaman islands at 0822 GMT.

A Reuters witness said panic-stricken residents rushed out of their homes in Port Blair and stood out in the open waiting for the quake to subside.

"The earthquake lasted for about 6-7 seconds," said Sanjay Mandal, a local hotel owner. "My customers ran out into the open."

Power went off briefly in some parts of the town. "No loss of life or any damage has been reported so far," S N Jha, chief of Andaman's disaster control cell, told Reuters.

One aftershock measuring 5.4 was reported from the same epicentre, the IMD said.

A spokesman at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services said they were checking water levels.

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