ASSURANCE: They have taken refuge on higher ground
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIAN students in Indonesia, which was on high alert for tsunami threats yesterday, were safe, according to the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.
Education attache Ludinata Misnun said there were a total of 5,645 Malaysian students in Indonesia.
Only 573 of these students are located in three out of 10 regions in Indonesia that were issued tsunami warnings by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, namely Aceh, Padang and Bali.
Ludinata said the 228 students in Bali, 206 in Aceh and 139 in Padang were told to observe the standard operating procedure after experiencing any natural disaster.
"They are all on higher ground. For the moment, they are safe and none of the students are injured.
"If the need arises, we will evacuate them to Medan," he added.
The situation was quiet and under control, he said.
The tsunami alert had been issued after an 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck the west coast of Northern Sumatera.
Malaysian Embassy in Medan Head of Chancery Nor Azhar Hajis said the earthquake had happened at 3.38pm Western Indonesian time (4.38pm in Malaysia).
The embassy had been in contact with Malaysian students in Aceh who reported that all was well.
For more information, please contact the Malaysian Consul General in Medan 24-hour operations room at +62614531342/+62614535271/+62614523992.
Alternatively, contact the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta at +622152904081/+62215224947 ext 3023 or email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, the New Straits Times ad sales executive Shereen Wong Wai See, who had just landed on Thailand's Koh Lipe island (close to Langkawi) yesterday, said everyone had rushed up to the hills after a tsunami siren was sounded. When contacted, she had already been waiting for more information on top of the hill for three hours and had not seen any signs of a tsunami.
"We had just touched down on the island and people were grabbing their luggage and running.
"We had no idea what was happening because everyone was speaking in Thai and we could not converse with them."
Wong and her friends Lina Lim and Hyda Daut, who were on holiday, had followed the crowd up the hill to the Mountain Resort.