NEW DELHI: India kept Armed Forces on standby and put governments of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and all the states on the eastern coast on alert fearing a Tsunami after an earthquake measuring 8.7 on Richter scale rocked Indonesia on Wednesday.
The epicentre of the massive earthquake reported at 2.08 p.m. was 270 nautical miles south of Campbell Bay, the last in the island chain of Andaman and Nicobar isles. Immediately, the Home Ministry asked the Chief Secretaries of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and all eastern coast states to issue a coastal alert.
The states were asked to advise fishermen not to venture into sea. As a precautionary measure, the Andaman Administration moved people from Nicobar side to safer areas.
The Indian Navy geared up to face any eventuality in case of a possible tsunami that could be triggered by the high-intensity quake. Ships in Port Blair, the capital island of the archipelago, were sailed out.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Naval Command posted disaster relief teams on its ships to provide immediate assistance to affected-areas of Indonesia, if required.
Other Naval Ships at sea in the Bay of Bengal were also alerted. The Indian Air Force also kept two C-130J special operations aircraft on standby at the Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad.
The giant aircraft are ready to fly a swift reaction team of 80 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel at any moment on call. Ten tonnes of medical supplies and rescue and relief materials have also been loaded on the aircraft.
One IL-76 aircraft was also been kept on standby at Chandigarh, which will also carry NDRF team while two AN-32s and Dorniers were on standby in the southern sector. Six NDRF teams have already reached Chennai.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also got in touch with Indian missions in the region hit by the earthquake.
“Indian Embassy in Jakarta has reported that so far there were no reports of any loss of life of any Indian nationals. Control rooms were put in place at Indian Mission in Jakarta and Consulate in Medan to assist Indian nationals, if required,” MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.