Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency lifted tsunami warning nearly two hours after a 7.6-magnitude quake hit Sumatra island earlier Wednesday, and there are no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage, according to an official of the agency.
We have lifted the warning as the tsunami did not occur, the official told TingVoa.com over the phone.
Before the tsunami warning was lifted, Ibnu Sa'ad, head of emergency unit of provincial disaster management and mitigation agency told TingVoa.com, We have asked people in coastal areas at Meulaboh town and Ulele in Banda Aceh to leave the coastal areas by up to one kilometer from it for their safety if tsunami occurs.
A powerful earthquake hit Sumatra island at 01:36 a.m. Jakarta time Wednesday (18:36 GMT Tuesday) with epicenter at 350 km southwest Meulaboh town of Aceh province and with the depth at 10 km under sea bed, the local official said.
Over 170,000 people were killed in Aceh when a tsunami hit Indian Ocean in Dec. 2004. The total fatality at the countries along the ocean was at about 230,000 people.
Abdelkader Hadjar, Algeria's Ambassador to Egypt and permanent representative of Algeria in the Arab League (AL), said Tuesday the AL ministerial committee in charge of following up the Syrian issue requested Algeria to send more observers to Syria.
The local El Khabar newspaper quoted Hadjar as saying that the AL request of adding another 10 Algerian observers to Syria has been referred to Algeria's foreign ministry.
The ministry has previously sent 10 monitors, including officials, military officials and journalists, to Syria as part of the Arab observer convoy.
Algeria is committed to the AL roadmap as a unique solution to the crisis in Syria, Algerian Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs Abdelkader Messahel said Sunday in Cairo during a meeting of the AL ministerial committee on Syria.
The Arab monitors are qualified enough to do the mission, he said, urging all the Syrians, Arab and international parties to implement the AL peace roadmap.
The United States said on Monday that it stands ready to offer technical help to the Arab League monitors, as the regional bloc has offered to give enough time for them to fulfill their mission in trying to stop the violence in Syria.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland noted that the monitors had asked for technical help before they entered Syria in late December, and the United Nations as well as the European Union were providing some help.
We're obviously supportive of any direct requests that come to us, she said at a regular news briefing. You know, as I said, this is a first outing for them as international monitors. It's a very important and valuable capability for the Arab League to be developing.
And we obviously stand by to help if that's wanted, she added.
At their meeting in Cairo on Sunday, the Arab League foreign ministers decided to continue the observer mission in Syria, despite criticism that the mission had so far failed to stop violence and bloodshed in the country.
The meeting also called on the Syrian government to completely and immediately implement the peace plan it signed with the regional group, which calls for ending of all acts of violence, withdrawal of armed elements from populated areas and the release of all political prisoners, in addition to allowing in monitors to conduct a field study of the situation in the Arab nation.
Syria was plunged into turmoil in mid-March when anti- government protests broke out.
The ministerial meeting asked for a report by Moustafa Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi, a Sudanese serving as head of the observer mission, by Jan. 19.
So we will await their final report and their assessment, Nuland said. I think we are not going to give a report card to this mission until we see what the Arab League monitors' own report is.
Our message to the opposition is to continue to do what they can to organize, to make their views known, to take advantage of those monitors who are there, to get their message out, she added.
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