By: Weatherguy Adonis
Panic-struck People Across Asia As Massive 8.7 Mb Earthquake Hits Northern Sumatra, Sparks Evacuation
Iloilo City, Philippines, 11 April 2012, (0951Z)–There was another huge Temblor that has hit the already Earthquake and Tsunami stricken Banda Aceh, in Sumatra, Indonesia back in 26 December 2004, “Boxing Day,” geologic event. The United States Geological Survey (USGS), has issued a preliminary report on this as 8.9 Mb but later it was confirmed that it has been lowered to 8.7 Mb, nevertheless, it is a major one!
The epicenter was about 434 km Southwest of Northern Sumatra, just off Banda Aceh in Indonesia, it struck the region, 33 km beneath the surface–it means the “Subduction Zone,” involved in huge “Rupture,” it could reach 300 kms long underneath the Ocean floor. Experts have been sounding the alarm for an ensuing Indian Ocean-wide Tsunami is in effect along the immediate coast of Sumatra, Indonesia particularly under the gun as the Tectonic Plates moving forth ditched closer to “Horizontal” motion, according to Garry Gibson, a Geologist based in Australia, CNN in its reports as this even is in progress within the next 24 hrs.
The Earthquake has struck at around 0839Z, between 2N-92.5E, and widespread damage could be expected in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, the closest to the epicenter of today’s huge Temblor. It has a depth of 33 km beneath the surface, considered very shallow. A lot of people have been evacuating into higher ground after authorities in Sumatra after the strong tremor has been observed.
There were also unconfirmed reports that in Phuket, Pha Nhang in Thailand, the local authorities are expediting evacuations as they believe the Tsunami waves could reach 4.0 m in height. Since the Earthquake has already past, the growing concerns are about the ensuing Tsunami that could have been generated out of this gigantic geological event. Critical areas could have been already hit several times by the waves as of posting and it’s getting dark now.
The PTWC has issued a “Tsunami Watch,” across Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Madagascar, Iran, Uae, Yemen, Comores, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, South Africa, Singapore. These areas are to closely monitor the rise and fall of sea levels within the next crucial 30 minutes and the forthcoming hours after the preliminary Earthquake has been felt. Tremors will continue to shake the region as the ground tries to settle down within the next week or so.
Japan’s NHK World has been monitoring the development of this latest seismic upheavals. Our resident meteorologist, Robert Speta has been reporting live on NHK World after Newsline, as I post this article right now, the weather could also be a significant factor as regards to rescue efforts ongoing along the coast of Sumatran Islands especially in cut-off regions in Simeulue Island, in Sumatra, Indonesia, which unconfirmed reports of a 6.0 m surge of Tsunamis was reported, as heavy rainfall could trigger landslips and flooding that could severely affect the already volatile situation in the area.
Update 1.0: Francis Chuah, our affiliate author based in Malaysia has been reporting that his sister has been feeling the effects of another huge 8.2 Mb Aftershock, and it was strongly felt across the region at the moment. Mr. Chuah was the one who gave first insights through his sister based in Northern part of Malaysia late this afternoon, same time with me here in the Philippines.
USGS reports of the huge Aftershock to be near 615 km South-southwest of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, 0.773N-92.452E, epicentered at 16.4 km beneath the surface, which places this one very shallow. In Chennai, India has been shutting its ports in the advance of the incoming Tsunami arrival there.
Reports of 60 cm in height of Tsunami waves has been arriving in Aceh, 80 cm in Meulaboh, all in Sumatran coast in Indonesia. There has been information also of waters receding back at 10.0 m in Meulaboh.
More details coming in as it becomes available.
This has been your Weatherguy hailing from the Philippines, Mabuhay! Stay safe and stay away from the coast, seek higher ground if you are under the PTWC’s Tsunami Watch.