The Sumatra earthquake caught villagers by surprise. It left several people injured, dead, and displaced. It also caused panic in neighboring countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia.
Sumatra Earthquake Damage
Indonesia’s Sumatra experienced a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit around 66
kilometers of Bukittinggi’s north-northwestern part. The epicenter is nearly 12 kilometers below the Earth’s surface, which is a fairly hollow distance. It means that the earthquake can be recognized at a distance.
The shallow but tragic Sumatra earthquake damaged at least 410 buildings and houses. It left four people dead, including two children in the Pasaman district. According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, three people died in the West Pasaman neighboring district.
People in Padang rushed to the streets in panic while patients in a hospital were being evacuated. Mudslides filled the streams while a school, a mosque, and many houses collapsed.
Over 5,000 people left their homes and stayed in temporary shelters. The authorities are currently investigating the overall expanse of the earthquake’s damage. Although there’s no risk of tsunami, aftershocks are likely.
Indonesian authorities continue to search under wreckage for possible survivors of the recent Sumatra earthquake. They also searched in the mud for people buried in the sludge due to mudslides.
The Great Sumatran Fault
Indonesia is a massive archipelago with a population of 270 million. The world’s largest island country usually experiences earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. It’s because of its position in the “Ring of Fire,” which is a bend of volcanoes and fault lines that spirals the Pacific.
Sumatra is an Indonesian island situated in an extreme seismic area of the planet. Apart from the island’s west coast’s subduction zone, it has a huge strike-slip fault extending to 1,650 kilometers long. Known as the Great Sumatran Fault or Semangko Fault, it runs the full extent of the island.
The fault zone provides most of the strike-slip motion connected to the vertical merging between the Eurasian and Indo-Australian plates. The fault discontinues in the north just beneath the city of Banda Aceh. It experienced devastation during the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean earthquake. The 9.1 magnitude earthquake put pressure on the Great Sumatran Fault, which greatly increased, especially in the northern part.
Sumatra Earthquake’s Less Impact on Malaysia
Malaysia also experienced the earthquake but with less impact, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia). The department will continue monitoring and informing any development about aftershocks and seismic activities.
“Until now, the information received shows minimal impact or effects of the earthquake on the country (Malaysia),” said Muhammad Helmi Abdullah, MetMalaysia director-general.
Singapore Felt the Sumatra Earthquake Too
The Lion City felt tremors in several areas after the earthquake hit Indonesia. Housing estate residents reported that they saw their fixtures and furniture wobbling for a moment or two.
Singapore authorities said that the Housing Board and the Building and Construction Authority engineers already made an inspection. They checked the constructional safety of 42 buildings overwhelmed by the tremors due to the Sumatra earthquake. Additionally, engineers ascertained that the structural strength of all the buildings stayed intact and unaffected.
“Most of the time, the shaking from Sumatran earthquakes is not strong enough for people in Singapore to feel it. Because today’s event was strong enough and close enough to Singapore, there are many reports of people who felt this earthquake,” said Dr. Kyle Bradley, Observatory of Singapore (EOS) principal investigator.
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