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Oman on the list of 28 countries for Tsunami alert.

Gulf nations have been warned over the possibility of a "destructive" Tsunami later today following a major earthquake in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia.

A statement issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) named the UAE, Oman and Yemen among the countries expected to be impacted this evening.

The 8.7 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Northern Sumatra just before 9am GMT this morning.

According to data released by the PTCW, the Tsunami will hit Omani capital Muscat at 15:40 GMT.

A massive earthquake struck off Indonesia s Sumatra island on Wednesday, triggering an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert and evacuation orders to clear people away from the coast.

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The quake s magnitude was 8.6, according a revised reading from the US Geological Survey, and struck 431 kilometres (268 miles) off the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh where terrified residents poured into the streets.

The city was near the epicentre of a devastating 9.1-magnitude quake in 2004 that triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean which killed 220,000 people, including 170,000 in Aceh province which lies on the northern tip of Sumatra.

The latest tremor was felt as far afield as Thailand, where skyscrapers in the capital Bangkok swayed. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand all issued evacuation orders.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said there was "so far no tsunami threat" after the quake but that the country remained on alert.

Residents in Banda Aceh reported the ground shook for about five minutes, first mildly and then growing violent.

"There are people trying to evacuate, some are praying and children at a school were panicking as teachers tried to get them out," an AFP correspondent in Banda Aceh said.

"There are traffic jams everywhere as people are trying to get away from the coast -- many are on motorcycles," he said, adding that telephone connections and electricity were patchy.

US monitors issued an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch but said it was not yet certain a giant wave had been generated.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2012

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:0INDI
Date:Apr 11, 2012
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