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Malaysia Issues First Tsunami Warning

February 6, 2005

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Tsunami Death Toll Nears 300,000
Survivors Found on Devastated Island
Previous Tsunami Stories

Elsewhere on the Web
Photos of the Devastation
Maps of the Devastated Areas
Animation: How the Tsunami Developed
Timeline of the Disaster

Malaysia put forth its first official tsunami warning on Sunday, the result of a new effort on detecting huge waves before they turn into disastrous for population centers. The trigger for the warning was an underground earthquake in the seas off Mindanao, one of the islands of nearby the Philippines. The quake measured 7.2 on the Richter scale.

People in Malaysia were urged to leave low-lying population centers and seek higher ground, causing traffic jams and a general panic. No tsunami materialized, but government emphasized that the reverse outcome would have been far worse.

The country has no official tsunami warning system but has been part of recent talks to install one in the Indian Ocean region to avoid the kind of devastation wrought by the December 26, 2004, quake and tsunami.

Malaysia lost 68 people when the Sumatra Tsunami hit. Most of those lost were fishermen who were either working at sea or in ports.

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

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