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Published On: Tue, Jan 10th, 2017

Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake in Indonesia – No Tsunami Warning

nsnbc : A strong earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale occurred in the waters northwest of Indonesia’s Sangihe Islands in Sulawesi province Tuesday afternoon. No tsunami warning was issued.

Image courtesy BMKG

Image courtesy BMKG

The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 1:13p.m. Western Indonesia Time, was located in the Sulawesi Sea, about 322 kilometers northwest of the islands, The hypocenter was at a depth of 618 kilometers said Harry T Djatmiko, the spokesman for Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

No tsunami warning was issued despite the strong magnitude of the earthquake. However, the BMKG explained that an earthquake may trigger a tsunami if it is located in the sea at a depth of less than 70 kilometers. Additionally, the earthquake would have to measure more than 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale.

The BMKG thus stressed that although the earthquake that struck the Sangihe Islands was powerful in magnitude, it did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami, as it had a depth of 618 kilometers.

Earthquakes, especially earthquakes with an epicenter located off-shore tend to create panic, especially among populations in coastal regions of Indonesia and neighboring countries like the Philippines, or Thailand.

The 2004 earthquake and tsunami that caused over 100,000 death is still fresh in the memory of survivors and has become part of the “earthquake culture” in the region. However, the tragedy also resulted in the installation of a Pacific-wide tsunami warning system and far greater awareness about evacuation routes that lead to higher lands or reinforced buildings on safe grounds.

Aceh earthquake and tsunami memorial.

Aceh earthquake and tsunami memorial.

In December Indonesian’s in Aceh and commemorated the 12th anniversary of the magnitude 9.3 earthquake and the subsequent tsunami on December 26, 2004 that killed more than 100,000 and displaced more than 800,000 people.

Indonesia is along with its neighbors among the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. Particularly its islands, which directly face the meeting point of the Eurasia, Indo-Australia and Pacific fault lines are prone to earthquakes and tsunami.

Among the earthquake-prone areas in Indonesia are the western parts of Sumatra Island; the southern parts of Java Island; the East and West Nusa Tenggara provinces; the northern parts of Papua, Sulawesi and Malauku; and the eastern part of Kalimantan Island.

F/AK – nsnbc 10.01.2017

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