Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Massive Indonesian Earthquake Yet to Come?

Indonesia has been hit by three large earthquakes in the last week. However, the worst may be still to come. So says a CNN story titled Indonesia's big one 'on its way' by Hugh Riminton.

Is some horrific history about to happen in Indonesia? Perhaps bad things for many Pacific and Indian Ocean countries as a huge tsunami wrecks havoc afterwards? It does not look good...

Riminton notes, "The 30 measuring stations along Sumatra's western coast tell an ominous tale. Driven by the plate beneath the Indian Ocean, the entire coastline is flexing, as the earth literally bends. The pressures are already enormous, and at some point probably soon, they will become intolerable. The implications are terrifying."

"Eventually it has got to release in (the form) of giant earthquake," states seismologist John Galetzka matter-of-factly. "It could be a rare magnitude-9 quake, and with the plates so tightly sprung, it will happen sooner, rather than later."

The article continues, "As he criss-crosses around the islands, searching for data, Galetzka says his aim is to save lives. But he, more than anyone, knows the risks -- that one day he'll confront a giant wave, a tsunami powerful enough to swallow islands."

I really hope Galetzka is wrong. If I was in Indonesia right now, I might think of moving away or at least far inland. Perhaps disaster relief organizations should start preparing for what could go down as one of the worst natural disasters of the 21st century?

1 comment:

Lafayette C. said...

Actually, it's nothing new--not at all. Every Indonesian geologist knows that we're sitting on one of the most geologically active (and dangerous) regions in the world and that we can expect a big earthquake about once every one or two centuries. So there's no use in panicking or magnifying the news too much--we have better things to do like installing better tsunami warning systems and improving our disaster management services.