June 7, 2007

Indonesia. Hoax tsunami SMS triggers mass panic

Thousands of people fled their homes in panic on the Indonesian coast after hoax text messages spread warning them that a tsunami will hit the region, reports The Gulf Times.

"The possibility is that a tsunami may take place on June 7,” said part of text message that is widely circulating in various coastal areas of Nusa Tenggara province.

The regional meteorology and geophysics office said that the SMS warning did not come from their office.

“Earthquakes and tsunami cannot be predicted and we have not issued such warning,” office head Rivai Marulak said. "However, most residents refused to return to their coastal home fearing if the rumor should come true, the journalist added."

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