Tsunami warning knocks out Zoho phone support

An earthquake monitoring system triggered tsunami warnings for Indian Ocean countries, causing at least one company to evacuate offices as a precaution.

Huge earthquakes in the Indian Ocean and tsunami warnings caused at least one tech company with Indian offices to evacuate today.

Zoho, an online application developer based in Pleasanton, Calif., used Twitter to notify customers that it had evacuated its offices in India and that phone support would not be available. "In view of the earthquake and tsunami warning, we're having to evacuate our office as a precautionary safety measure," Zoho tweeted.

Zoho's Indian offices are located in Chennai, a coastal city on the Bay of Bengal.

The 8.6 magnitude earthquake, off the western coast of Indonesia, triggered tsunami warnings in many countries in the region, according to reports. Following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2004, a warning system with sensors and communications networks was set up to warn of possible tsunamis within minutes of an earthquake.

India's National Center for Ocean Information Services later withdrew the tsunami warnings when it became clear there was no danger of tsunami from the earthquake, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

In Zoho's case, it had already evacuated offices in Chennai and suspended phone support, something that could occur for other companies with a presence in the region.

Some of the most severe impact seems to be in Indonesia where there have been evacuations, power loss, and phone lines overwhelmed in some areas, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Update at 9:10 a.m. PT: Zoho tweeted that it now has limited phone support today, that e-mail is a better way to reach support today, and that all customer support "will be back to normal tomorrow."

 

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