The New Indian Express , 18 July 2006

High alert in Andaman, West Bengal following tsunami

NEW DELHI: The coasts along the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and West Bengal were put on high alert after a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit beneath the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia’s Java island on Monday but there was no central alert issued to the coastal states.

Following the tsunami, all the points in the archipelago, mainly the southern tip which is nearer to Indonesia, were alerted, a source in the Andaman and Nicobar administration said.

A meeting of the disaster management committee in the island, which was badly affected in the 2004 tsunami, also put on high alert vulnerable areas like the Indira Point, the southernmost tip of India, islands in the Campbell Bay, Katchal Island and the entire Car Nicobar island.

P S Goel, Secretary, Ocean Development Department, told PTI in New Delhi that officials were closely monitoring the situation.

‘‘No tsunami warning has been issued as there was no significant rise in the water level along the Indian coast,’’ he said.

The control room of the home ministry was also constantly in touch with the authorities in Port Blair and the coastal states.

Defence establishments in the island have also been put on high alert following the tsunami warning.

In Kolkata, West Bengal Inspector General of Police (law and order) Raj Kanojia said ‘‘We have alerted all police stations in the coastal areas of the state and asked them to issue necessary instructions to the agencies concerned.’’

Reports said that alert was sounded in the sea resort of Digha and Sankarpur Harbour.