Réunion issues tsunami alert after quake

The French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean issued an orange tsunami alert on Wednesday after a massive earthquake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island, the local prefect's office said.

Réunion issues tsunami alert after quake

Prefect Michel Lalande followed other territories in the region in declaring the medium-level alert for the island, an overseas department of France that is east of Madagascar and has a population of about 800,000.

The prefecture said in a statement that the tsunami could hit the island’s shores between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm local time (1500 and 1600 GMT). It said local authorities and emergency services were on alert and that swimming would be banned.

It urged local residents to use “the greatest caution.”

“A tsunami is not a show, get to an elevated position, far from theshoreline,” it said.

Réunion suffered some damage during the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, with the loss of several fishing and pleasure boats.

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Earthquake measuring 4.9 shakes south west France

People living in south western France felt the earth move on Wednesday morning when an earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale struck just north of Bordeaux.

Earthquake measuring 4.9 shakes south west France
The epicentre of the earthquake was located 5 km from Montendre. Photo: Google Maps
The earthquake struck at around 10.56 am about 50 kilometres north of Bordeaux. 
It could be felt all the way from Bordeaux to the city of Poitiers in western France, according to France's National Seismic Monitoring Network (RéNass).
The epicentre of the earthquake was about 5 km from Montendre in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.
The tremors were felt in several departments of the south west, such as the Gironde, Charente and Charente-Maritime departments.
The chimneys of two empty apartments collapsed in the town of Barbezieux, according to local newspaper Sud Ouest which could have been down to the earthquake.
“I felt a slight swaying, my sofa went from right to left, it rocked like I was on a boat,” François Aliane, 58, a resident of Gençay (Vienne), near Poitiers told the French press.
Another person living in the area tweeted: “4.9 earthquake near Bordeaux. First time for me there's such a big one here. I'm fine but I heard people sitting on higher floors did feel a lot of vibrations” (see tweet below). 
“No major damage has been caused, the local services are keeping an eye on the situation,” said the local authorities in the Dordogne department in south west France. 
The earthquake near Bordeaux followed another earthquake in the port city of Brest in Brittany at 12.20 am on Tuesday morning, which measured 3.7 on the Richter scale. 
Did you feel the earth move in south western France? Tweet us @TheLocalFrance