Why No Tsunami This Time? Answer Lies in Location The powerful quake that struck off Indonesia on Monday probably did not generate a killer tsunami because it was deep and in a fortuitous location, experts said on Tuesday. But they said the uncertainty over whether there would be a tsunami after the 8.7 magnitude quake under the Indian Ocean floor showed just how little is known about earthquakes and their effects. "That is why a tsunami early warning system is still badly, badly needed for this area," said Jian Lin, a marine geophysicist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and India all called tsunami alerts when Monday's quake hit, but canceled them after learning it generated only a very small tsunami that posed little danger to coastlines.
More than 1,000 people were killed in Indonesia, and the government expects the toll to rise.
Tsunami Fears A powerful earthquake struck late Monday off Indonesia's west coast, killing nearly 300 people whose homes collapsed on them and spreading panic across the Indian Ocean that another killer tsunami was on the way.
But fears of a second tsunami catastrophe in just over three months eased within hours, as officials in countries at risk reported their coasts clear of the type of quake-spawned waves that ravaged a dozen countries in Asia and Africa on Dec. 26.