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March 28, 2005

New Earthquake Off Indonesia

8.2 earthquake in Indonesia. At the moment it appears to be in almost the exact same spot as the December 2004 quake.

The USGS advised officials in the area to move people inland, and Thai officials were among the first to issue a tsunami warning for the Andaman Sea.

No reports of injury or damage had been received from the region. The Dec. 26 quake that launched the massive tsunami was a 9.0, the USGS said.

Update: In, fact, it's just to the south of the December quake, a geology.com produced map of which is over to the left. I've added the southernmost star to show the location of the new quake.

Geology.com also has a tsunami wave height map from the December quake.

The December quake was initially reported as a 6.8 on the Richter scale, and laster revised upwards, as many earthquakes are. The fact that this one is initially being reported as an 8.2 strikes me as a bad sign. The depth reported for the quake, 30 km, is the same as that of the December quake.

Update: An American Expat in SouthEast Asia is reporting that either a Tsunami is expected to strike Malaysia within an hour or that there's not going to be one at all--though he's unable to reach some areas.
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Japan's Meteorological Agency is measuring the quake as an 8.5.
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A description of the quake from a blogger in Penang, Malaysia.

People staying in high rise building in Penang felt the strong tremor and started running out of their buildings. A friend called me and said tables - in his apartment in Jelutong, Penang was shaking violently and he can feel the tremor was stronger than the one that happened on the 26th.

I was in my house in Gelugor and i felt the tremor too. It was strong
...
I also recieved short messaging from Medan and Banda Aceh that they felt VERY strong tremors and people are staying out doors in the open for fear of more quakes / after shocks. They are also waiting traumatically of any impeding tsunami with could only be asertain within 2 hours after the quake.

My daughter, who is studying in Medan just sms me ( at 2.10am M’sian time ) that she heard reports on the radio that the water from a river in Amplas was rising. It is about 1 1/2 hours from where she and her friends are staying in Medan.

People there are getting very nervous. I guess people everywhere that felt the tremor are nervous.
------
Tsunami Bulletin From the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

THIS EARTHQUAKE IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE PACIFIC. NO TSUNAMI THREAT EXISTS TO COASTLINES IN THE PACIFIC.

WARNING... THIS EARTHQUAKE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE A WIDELY DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI IN THE OCEAN OR SEAS NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE. AUTHORITIES IN THOSE REGIONS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS POSSIBILITY AND TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION. THIS ACTION SHOULD INCLUDE EVACUATION OF COASTS WITHIN A THOUSAND KILOMETERS OF THE EPICENTER AND CLOSE MONITORING TO DETERMINE THE NEED FOR EVACUATION FURTHER AWAY.

THIS CENTER DOES NOT HAVE SEA LEVEL GAUGES OUTSIDE THE PACIFIC SO WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DETECT OR MEASURE A TSUNAMI IF ONE WAS GENERATED. AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME THE DANGER HAS PASSED IF NO TSUNAMI WAVES ARE OBSERVED IN THE REGION NEAR THE EPICENTER WITHIN THREE HOURS OF THE EARTHQUAKE.

So we'll know one way or the other by 2:30 EST or so...
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Personal experiences of the quake, from

A member of a...Malaysian punk band. How cool is that?

My neighbour Richard was already at the grilles, unlocking it and headed toward the road. I followed him. “You felt it?”, he asked. I nodded grimly and he said it’s a big earthquake happening somewhere. About 20 people from the tall apartment beside our building came down and started staring at their building. I’ve never seen most of them before. Then my friends from the top floor of our building came out onto the tarmac.

and a Southeast Asian Goth, from the looks of things.

Then Najib called.

Najib: “Weei,what are you doing?”
Me: “Uh, about to go to bed.Why?”
Najib: “Didn’t you feel it?”
Me: “Feel what?”
Najib: “The Earthquake.”

Okay, that last line freaked me out so bad I nearly peed in my pants.

Then I woke mum up and we both watched CNN and read the news online.

And it’s true.It was an friggin’ earthquake. It happened again.

God help us all.

More here, and here.

-----
Looks like the cell phone nets in the countries affected by the December quake have gone down.

Mathan also called to tell me that he and the guys at the apartment in Serdang are also out of the building... they too felt the vibration. Later I tried calling out to check on my other friends but there was no network.. Sherlene's phone, too was not able to call out.

Well, this sounded convincing enough that something bad was going to happen. So I quickly ran to the phonebooth to phone back home.. thank God it was working *hallelujah*.. well, my dad said he didn't feel anything.
-----
The US is advising anyone within 600 miles of the quake to evacuate. for fear of a tsunami.

Seeing as how it's been almost 3 hours since the quake, and tsunamis can travel as fast as 500 miles an hour, this warning would seem to be too late to do any good, unless it's feared that aftershocks could still produce a tsunami.
-----
No tsunamis reported yet in Indonesia's Banda Aceh, so it seems as if the area might have escaped that particular threat this time around, but there are still numerous reports of devastation.

Local tv station reporting live from Banda Aceh of panic and power outage. However, no sign of abnormalities observed at seasides at the moment. There are reports of hundreds of collapsed houses and fires. Number of injured or casualties still unknown.

The quake that triggered the tsunami that took hundreds thousand of lives in Dec 04 was marked at 9.0 magnitude. This one is currently marked at 8.2 or 8.5.
------
6.0 aftershock Here's a map showing both.
------
Given the location of the various faults, Brendan Loy says CNN is reporting that the tsunami threat may be greatest to the south of the epicenter, and that one of those may have been observed.
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USGS has upgraded the measurement of the first quake to an 8.7
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If a tsunami is indeed moving southwestwards, the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, are the landmasses at greatest risk. Both islands are primarily famous for extinction; the dodo on Mauritius and the Solitaire on Rodrigues. Hopefully they won't become better known for a human one.

There is at least one blogger on Mauritius. Left a warning, though it felt alarmist of me to do so.
-----
Yahoo News photos of the earthquake.
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Nias Island is among the most heavily damaged areas reported so far.

"Hundreds of buildings have been damaged or have collapsed. People who were standing fell over," Mendrofa said. "We're not sure about casualties, but there may be dozens of people buried in the rubble."

Nias, a renowned surfing spot, was badly hit by the Dec. 26 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that killed at least 175,000 people in 12 Indian Ocean nations. At least 340 residents of Nias perished and 10,000 were left homeless.

Nias is the island just south of the star on the map above. There's a newsfeed here, but unless you read Indonesian it won't do you much good.

-----
Two more aftershocks, and a small tsunami has been reported at the Cocos Islands, and Mauritius has issued a tsunami warning. The tsunami alrt for Thailland has been canceled.

That's it for this post. Anything else I find interesting will appear up at the top.

Posted by Bigwig at March 28, 2005 12:32 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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Comments

Great job Big Wig of compiling information. My office is using your site as a reference hub right now.

Posted by: Scarecrow at March 28, 2005 01:39 PM

Thanks for your warning dude ,mauritius has already thought of different strategies to use in the event of tsunami hitting mauritius.

Our advantage is that as we are very far from the source of the earthquake , the wave ripples take a longer time to come to us , so we do get the time for evacuation.

But i cross my fingers so as we dont get extinct like the todo and the solitair.

Thanks for compiling so much useful information , i'll let you know if anything happens off the shores of mauritius.

thanks again,
Javed

Posted by: javed mandary at March 28, 2005 11:33 PM
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