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Powerful Earthquake Strikes Southern Sumatra, Indonesia

Posted by feww on September 30, 2009

More Megaquakes May Strike PRF Anytime

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake strikes southern Sumatra, Indonesia

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck southern Sumatra, Indonesia, 50 km (30 miles) WNW of Padang, at a depth  of about 85 km on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

Only hours ago, having briefly analyzed details of the Samoan earthquake, FEWW had foretasted that up to 3 more powerful quakes could strike the Pacific Ring of Fire in 2009.

Four weeks ago a deadly earthquake measuring  7.3 to 7.6 Mw struck off the coast of Java, Indonesia, killing more than 80 people and injuring at least another 1,250.

Tsunami Warning

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (NOAA) has issued a tsunami warning based on the size and location of the earthquake for countries bordering Indian Ocean: Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

Damage Report

“People are panicking. They are running out of the buildings… There are many collapsed buildings,” an eye-witness in Padang told a local TV station.

“Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road. There are some fires, bridges are cut and there is extreme panic here maybe because water pipes are broken and there is flooding in the streets,” another witness told Reuters.

“Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road,” another eye-witness in Padang said.

“There are some fires, bridges are cut and there is extreme panic here maybe because water pipes are broken and there is flooding in the streets.”

Padang has a population of just under 1,000,000 people. There were no reports of casualties as of posting; however, given that so many buildings have collapsed, it’s more than likely that many people would have been killed or injured.

According to a local report, power and phone lines are down in Pandang and several other parts of Indonesia.

The mainshock was followed by a strong aftershock measuring 6.0  GFZ Potsdam/ Earthquake Bulletin reported. More strong aftershocks are highly probable.

10-degree Map Centered at 0°N,100°E

Southern Sumatara - 30 September 2009
Earthquake Location Map.

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin
Region:     Southern Sumatra, Indonesia
Time:     2009-09-30 10:16:10.4 UTC
Magnitude:     7.8
Epicenter:     99.87°E   0.80°S
Depth:     84 km
Status:     manually revised

Earthquake Details (according to USGS)

  • Magnitude: 7.9
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16:10 UTC
    • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 05:16:10 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 0.797°S, 99.925°E
  • Depth: 85 km (52.8 miles)

    • 50 km (30 miles) WNW of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 225 km (140 miles) SW of Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 475 km (295 miles) SSW of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
    • 960 km (600 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 10.6 km (6.6 miles); depth +/- 16.1 km (10.0 miles)
    Parameters:  NST= 44, Nph= 44, Dmin=523.2 km, Rmss=1.44 sec, Gp= 47°,   M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009mebz

Related Links:

5 Responses to “Powerful Earthquake Strikes Southern Sumatra, Indonesia”

  1. terres said

    Indonesia quake losses in W Sumatra reach over 2 bln USD

    Source: Xinhua News Agency – Date: 15 Nov 2009

    JAKARTA, Nov 15, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) — The earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale and subsequent landslides that devastated Indonesia’s West Sumatra province on September 30, 2009, inflicted a loss of an estimated 21.58 trillion rupiah (about 2.2 billion U. S. dollars), an official said.

    The greatest loss came from damage to houses accounting for 74 percent of the total losses, Antara news agency on Sunday quoted West Sumatra Deputy Governor Marlis Rahman as saying.

    The figure was based on the results of a final verification which put the number of damaged houses at 249,833, he said.

    Of the total, 114,797 houses were destroyed and leveled to the ground, while 67,198 houses underwent moderate damage and 67.838 others minor damage, he said.

    The province’s Padang Pariaman district was hit hardest by the quake with material losses estimated at 8.67 trillion rupiah ( about 870 million U.S. dollars), he said.

    The social sector was the second hit hardest by the quake and landslides with hundreds of places of worship, school buildings and public health institutions damaged, the district head said.

    The quake killed at least 1,195 people and injured thousands of others.
    copyright xinhua.

  2. K said

    While looking at the p-waves for both the Samoa and Sumatra quakes, I noticed that they not only overlap but they both go through the east coast. Some time back on one of the CA forecast posts you mentioned a quake forecast for New York which is still in the works, would these two large quakes play a significant part in your forecast (if at all)?

  3. feww said

    Update: USGS/EHP has downgraded the EQM by 0.3 Mw, as it has been the case with all of their large quake reports lately, even though the event had already been reviewed by a seismologist, according to their website. However, the earthquake has been reported as magnitude 7.8 by GFZ Potsdam/ Earthquake Bulletin, which is generally more reliable than the USGS/EHP.

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