Tsunami Warning

Well, it may be a little too late. There was a tsunami warning given to Australia’s east coast particularly Gladstone in Central Queensland down to Tasmania prior to the 8.8-Richter scale earthquake in Chile. A report says that the impact will be first hit the east coast at 0845 AEDT (it’s AEST all year long in Brisbane).

However as time passes, I haven’t heard any report whether the impact has hit east coast or it’s still underway or may be the warning has been lifted. Hopefully, it won’t reach east coast particularly Southeast Queensland.

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BREAKING EVENT – Jakarta Bombing

If you can, don’t blame fingers on who is behind the mastermind for now as we need more confirmations before investigation can be conducted.

A bomb exploded in two luxury hotels in Indonesian capital, Jakarta, around 7.45 WIB. About three hours later, a third explosion occured in Muara Angke area in the northern region of the city. As of now, nine have been killed. Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the accident. More news below.

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Fatal blasts hit Jakarta hotels

At least nine people, including some foreigners, have been killed in two bomb blasts at luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, police say.

One explosion hit the Ritz-Carlton, ripping off its facade, and the other the JW Marriott. At least 48 people were injured.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has visited the scene and condemned “the cruel and inhuman attack”.

Indonesia suffered a number of bomb attacks – mainly linked to the militant group Jemaah Islamiah – in the first years of the century, but has been relatively peaceful since 2005.

‘Barbaric’

President Yudhoyono said Friday’s attacks were carried out by a suspected terrorist group, though he said it was “too early to say” if Jemaah Islamiah was involved.

He added: “Those who carried out this attack and those who planned it will be arrested and tried according to the law.

“This act of terrorism… will have wide effects on our economy, trade, tourism and image in the eyes of the world.”

Officials said there were indications that suicide bombers had carried out the attacks.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key confirmed a New Zealand national was among the dead.

Reuters news agency named him as Tim Mackay, president director of PT Holcim Indonesia, quoting the company’s marketing director Patrick Walser.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemned the attacks as “barbaric”. “Any attack anywhere is an attack on us all,” he said.

There were reports of a third explosion in northern Jakarta a few hours later but it was not immediately clear what the cause was.

The Manchester United football team was due to arrive in Indonesia on Saturday and was booked to stay at the Ritz-Carlton.

The team have now called off the Indonesian leg of their tour, saying they “cannot fulfil the fixture in Jakarta” against an Indonesia Super League XI on 20 July.

The first two blasts, in Jakarta’s central business district, occurred at about 0730 (0030 GMT).
Police said another, unexploded, bomb had also been found at the JW Marriott.

Presidential adviser Djali Yusuf told the AFP news agency that the unexploded bomb had been found in what he called the “control centre” of the attacks – room 1808 in the Marriott – where other explosives material was discovered.

Security guard Eko Susanto told AFP: “I heard two sounds like ‘boom, boom’ coming from the Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton. Then I saw people running out.”

Businessman Geoffrey Head, who was in the Ritz Carlton, told the BBC he did not hear the blast but that his colleagues had called him after it happened to tell him to leave the building.

“I looked out of the window – I could see down to ground level and I saw there was a lot of broken glass. I thought it was time to actually get out.”

Mr Head said there had been no warning to evacuate the building.

“The surreal thing was going down in the elevator and walking through the lobby and looking across to my left and noticing the cafe was completely blown out,” he said.

Myra Junor, who witnessed the blasts from a nearby building, told Reuters that windows on the lower floors of the Ritz-Carlton had shattered.

A 50-year-old South Korean man, Cho In-sang, was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

“I don’t remember exactly but suddenly the ceiling is falling down and the sound was big,” he said.

Anti-terror training

Consular staff are trying to track their nationals, and Australia issued a warning against unnecessary travel to Indonesia.

The attacks come just weeks after the peaceful presidential elections.

The country of 240 million people has been praised in recent years for maintaining a pluralist democracy while finding and punishing radical Islamists responsible for a series of bombings more than five years ago.

Attacks on two nightclubs in Bali in October 2002 killed 202 people, most of them Australian.

The Marriott Hotel was the target of a bomb attack in August 2003 in which 13 people were killed.

Since then, a combination of new laws, anti-terror training, international cooperation and reintegration measures have kept Indonesia peaceful, analysts have said.

Source: British Broadcasting Corporation

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Deadly blasts hit two hotels in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) — Bomb blasts tore through two luxury hotels Friday morning in south Jakarta, Indonesia, killing at least eight people, a presidential spokesman said.

More than 40 people were injured, said Dino Patti Djalal, spokesman for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. They were taken to area hospitals.

Local state media put the death toll at nine people.

“I condemn this terrorist attack,” Yudhoyono said. “I know they will never stop.”

Police sealed off the area around both hotel blasts, one in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the other at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, about 50 meters away. Djalal said the attacks were coordinated.

Forensics experts are collecting evidence at the “disturbing scene,” Djalal said. He said he had few details about the blasts, which occurred about 7:48 a.m. (8:48 p.m. Thursday ET) on Friday, Islam’s holy day.

Windows were shattered and plumes of smoke shot up in the air, witnesses said.

“What I can say is one of the most damaged areas that we looked at, where the bodies were, was a lounge area in the Marriott near the lobby,” he said. “That seems to be the epicenter of the bomb.”

“This is a blow to us, but I don’t have any doubts that we will be able to uncover and find out the perpetrators,” Djalal said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Police said the bomb at the Marriott likely came from the basement beneath the coffee shop on the ground floor, which would have been busy at breakfast time.

In a Twitter post four hours after the blast, Marriott said: “Police responded immediately, sealed off the area. Guests @ both hotels have been evacuated & have been moved to a secure location.”

A Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman released a statement saying: “Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims and their families. As always, the safety and security of our guests and associates is a high priority.”

At the Ritz, windows were blown out on the second floor, as though the blast occurred from inside a hotel restaurant that also would have been crowded with a breakfast crowd, said witness Greg Woolstencroft. Video Watch footage of the scene of the blasts »

Another witness counted four foreigners among the wounded, according to state-run Antara New Agency.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel was to have accommodated soccer players from Britain’s Manchester United, who were expected to arrive in Jakarta on Sunday. Video Watch a report on suspects behind the blasts »

The team canceled its trip to Indonesia after the bombing, its Web site said.

U.S. Embassy Press Attache Paul Belmont told CNN no U.S. casualties have been confirmed and that the embassy was monitoring the situation closely.

The U.S. State Department said several American citizens are among the injured.

“The U.S. extends its sympathy to the victims and families in this tragedy, and to the people and government of Indonesia. The U.S. condemns such senseless acts of violence. We stand ready to provide assistance if asked by the government of Indonesia,” a State Department statement said.

Australian authorities said they had reports of at least two wounded Australians.

We “condemn these barbaric attacks,” said a spokesman for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The death toll may be higher than reported, said CNN contributor Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director of international operations. He said two U.S. businessmen were treated for minor injuries.

“There was a boom and the building shook, and then subsequently two more,” said hotel guest Don Hammer, who was leaving his room in the Marriott when the blast occurred.

“The shocking part was entering the lobby, where the glass at the front of the hotel was all blown out and blood was spattered across the floor, but most people were leaving calmly.”

Woolstencroft said he had just walked past the hotels to his nearby apartment when he heard an explosion.

“I looked out my window and I saw a huge cloud of brownish smoke go up,” he told CNN in a telephone interview. “I grabbed my iPhone to go downstairs … and then the second bomb went off at the Ritz-Carlton, so I then ran around to the Ritz-Carlton and I was able to find that there had been a massive bomb that went off in this … restaurant area and the explosion had blown out both sides of the hotel.”

Woolstencroft said he saw a body that “looked like someone who had been a suicide bomber or someone who had been very, very close to the explosion.” Video Watch an eyewitness report of the blasts »

There was extensive damage to both buildings and authorities were blocking up the area, he said.

“It’s obviously targeted establishments where there are Westerners and expats … I can only assume it’s something to try and send a message,” Woolstencroft said.

The television executive said he had lived at the Ritz for a year before moving to his nearby apartment and had been impressed by the facility’s security.

“I just don’t know how someone could get in there with a bomb, given the level of security and screening that people have to go through,” he said, citing armed guards at checkpoints and thorough searches of people, bags and vehicles.

The Marriott was the site of a terrorist attack in August 2003 that killed 12 people. In that attack, an explosives-laden vehicle pulled into the motor lobby of the Marriott and exploded at the height of the lunch hour.

Friday’s attack “was not nearly as bad,” said John Aglionby, a reporter for the Financial Times who was at the site of both blasts.

Former CNN producer John Towriss, who has spent many years in Jakarta, said the Marriott and Ritz often share employees and an underground passageway connects the two buildings that sit across the road from each other.
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Towriss said the Marriott has beefed up security since the 2003 attacks, making it impossible for people to drive up to the hotel in cars. Both hotels set up metal detectors and thick concrete barriers to prevent car bombers.

“I always thought I was safer at the Marriott because I thought it had already been bombed once,” Towriss said. “I thought that another hotel would be targeted.”

Source: Cable News Network

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Condolences to the relatives of the victims and may the departed souls rest in peace. I condemned this bombing personally, no matter whatever is the motives behind that. Reserved place(s) for the bomber(s) in hell. Be strong, my country!