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Powerful Quake Cluster Strikes Papua, Indonesia

Posted by feww on January 4, 2009

Powerful Quake Cluster Strikes Papua Heralding a New Period of Intense Global Seismicity

A powerful magnitude 7.6 mainshock followed by at least 19 aftershocks measuring 5 to 7.4 Mw struck near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

This Earthquake:


Map of Indonesia                                                                                                        Source: USGS

Magnitude: 7.6


  • Saturday, January 03, 2009 at 19:43:54 UTC
  • Sunday, January 04, 2009 at 04:43:54 AM at epicenter

Location: 0.510°S, 132.783°E
Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program

  • 150 km (95 miles) WNW of Manokwari, Papua, Indonesia
  • 170 km (105 miles) ENE of Sorong, Papua, Indonesia
  • 1335 km (830 miles) N of DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia
  • 2955 km (1830 miles) E of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 12.1 km (7.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Event ID us2009bjbn

Shakemap  and MMI

According to USGS: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. A magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami 208 km Northeast of this one struck Indonesia on October 10, 2002 (UTC), with estimated population exposures of 6,000 at intensity IX or greater and 7,000 at intensity VIII, resulting in an estimated 8 fatalities. On September 12, 1979 (UTC), a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami 378 km Northeast of this one struck Indonesia, with estimated population exposures of 10,000 at intensity IX or greater and 27,000 at intensity VIII, resulting in an estimated 15 fatalities. Recent earthquakes in this area have caused, tsunamis, landslides and liquefaction that may have contributed to losses.”

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Tectonic Summary [USGS]

“The magnitude 7.6 Papua, Indonesia earthquake of January 3, 2009, 19:43 UTC, occurred as a result of thrust faulting on a plate-boundary along the northwest coast of the island of New Guinea. Eastern Indonesia is characterized by complex tectonics in which motions of numerous small plates are accommodating large-scale convergence between the Australia, Pacific, and Eurasia plates. In broad-scale plate-tectonic models that do not subdivide continent sized plates into smaller plates, the location of today’s earthquake would be on the boundary of the Pacific and Australia plates. The Pacific plate (located north and northeast of the epicenter) is moving southwest with respect to the Australia plate (located south of the epicenter) with a velocity of about 112 mm/year at the epicenter of the earthquake, and the focal-mechanism of today’s earthquake is broadly consistent with Pacific plate lithosphere being subducted beneath Australia plate lithosphere. The subduction zone along the northwest coast of New Guinea is characterized by an offshore oceanic trench, the New Guinea trench, but teleseismically recorded earthquake hypocenters do not show a well-developed inclined seismic zone (a Wadati-Benioff zone) dipping south-southwest from the trench.

“The earthquake of January 3, 2009, 19:43 UTC, occurred about 470 km west of the magnitude 8.2 earthquake of February 17, 1996. The 1996 earthquake produced a tsunami that was destructive on the island of Biak. At least 108 people were killed by the 1996 earthquake and associated tsunami.” USGS

One Response to “Powerful Quake Cluster Strikes Papua, Indonesia”

  1. […] AlertThe Floating Toxic Garbage Island Outbreak of Dangerous Group A Streptococcus Bacterium in NZPowerful Quake Cluster Strikes Papua, Indonesia « Powerful Quake Cluster Strikes […]

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