Wednesday, March 2, 2016

All Malaysian students in quake-hit Sumatra reported safe

All Malaysian students in Padang, West Sumatra, are reported safe and back home after the authorities withdrew a tsunami warning issued after a strong earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck last night. When contacted, the Malaysian Consul General in Medan, Amizal Fadzli Rajali, said all 70 medical students at Universitas Andalas, Padang, were allowed to return to their homes after gathering and waiting to be evacuated. "The students are undergoing clinical training at a hospital in Padang and have been advised to return home but to remain alert," he told Bernama. The consulate was monitoring the situation and would contact them from time to time with the latest information, he said, adding that calm prevailed. He said Malaysian students in Medan and Aceh were not affected by the earthquake as those areas did not experience any tremors. Meanwhile, thousands of panic-stricken people in the coastal areas of Padang, West Sumatra, are still reluctant to return home despite the authorities' withdrawal of the tsunami warning.  According to live television news reports, the people were fearful of aftershocks. Police were reported to have made a public announcement that the situation was safe and the tsunami warning was withdrawn. A villager was quoted as saying the people refused to return as they feared for their safety. He said residents were moving to Padang city after hearing sirens and learning of the tsunami warning.  Malaysian Students Association in Indonesia president L. Gunaseelan, 26, who is studying at Universitas Andalas in Padang, said he was having dinner with some friends at a restaurant when the earthquake hit. "This is my first experience facing such a situation, and we panicked when we saw the food on the table falling on to the floor, and within a few seconds, customers in the restaurant screamed and ran out of the restaurant building. "It also felt like the single-storey restaurant was moving to the left and to the right," he said when contacted by Bernama from Kuala Lumpur. Another medical student at the same university, R. Shaktipriya, 21, also felt strong tremors while dining at a restaurant with some friends. "I almost choked due to the tremors, and immediately ran to a foothill nearby to take cover," she said, adding that all of them were currently safe. – Bernama, March 3, 2016.]]>

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