February 20, 2008

Quake In Indonesia Kills 3, Injures 25

Powerful Earthquake In Western Indonesia Kills At Least 3, Injures 25



(AP) A powerful earthquake struck western Indonesia on Wednesday, killing at least three people, injuring 25 others, and damaging several buildings, officials said. No tsunami was detected.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 and struck under the island of Simeulue off the western coast of Sumatra _ the region worst hit in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Minutes after the quake hit, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a bulletin saying parts of the Sumatran coast closest to the epicenter were at risk of a possible tsunami. However, it canceled the alert two hours later, saying sea gauges had not detected any large waves.

Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Indonesian Health Ministry's disaster center, said "many" buildings on Simeulue were damaged and three people were killed. He said at least 25 others were seriously injured.

The quake was felt across much of western and northern Sumatra island, witnesses said. Many people fled their homes.

"Everything shook very strongly for more than a minute, and I ran along with the others. I heard people screaming in panic," said Aceh resident Ahmad Yushadi.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago with a population of 235 million people, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

The fault that ruptured Wednesday off the coast of Sumatra is particularly deadly.

A magnitude-9 quake there in 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them on Sumatra. Three months later, an 8.7 quake farther down the fault killed 1,000 on the islands of Nias and Simeulue.


***This event supersedes event PT08051901.

Geographic coordinates: 2.751N, 95.966E
Magnitude: 7.5 Mw
Depth: 34 km
Universal Time (UTC): 20 Feb 2008 08:08:31
Time near the Epicenter: 20 Feb 2008 15:08:31
Local standard time in your area: 20 Feb 2008 08:08:31

Location with respect to nearby cities:
312 km (194 miles) WSW (253 degrees) of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia
314 km (195 miles) SSE (167 degrees) of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
336 km (209 miles) WNW (290 degrees) of Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia
638 km (397 miles) W (266 degrees) of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

event ID : US 2008nran

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist at NEIC
For subsequent updates, maps, and technical information, see:

National Earthquake Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey


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