Huge 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Andaman Islands  

A huge 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the Andaman Islands between India and Myanmar on Tuesday, triggering a tsunami alert across

the Indian Ocean, the US Geological Survey reported. However, no casualty has been reported so far. The quake hit the island at 01:26 am, about 265 kms north of Port Blair city, the IMD said. Tremors were also felt at several places in Chennai. Complaints of cracks in the houses were also received from few places. The epicenter was also around 364 kilometres (226 miles) southwest of the Irriwaddy Delta region of Myanmar which was devastated by a huge cyclone in May last year that left over 138,000 people dead. The USGS said a tsunami watch had been issued for India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh. Andaman Islands were hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami which was triggered by an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra and sent giant waves crashing into countries around the Indian Ocean. The 2004 tsunami killed more than 220,000 people, most of them in the northern Indonesian province of Aceh. Thousands of people were also killed in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and India. There was no immediate response from the authorities in India or Myanmar to the latest quake and tsunami alert. The quake appeared to be only around 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of the main land mass of the Andaman Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are some of India' most eastern pieces of territory. Over 350,000 people live in the territory flanked by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, and it comprises some 572 islands. The Andaman Sea area witnesses frequent earthquakes caused by the meeting of the Indian plate with the Burmese microplate along an area known as the Andaman trench.

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