Saturday, October 03, 2009

Devastating Indonesian earthquake 'still to come'


According to an article at New Scientist, the earthquake which hit Padang in Sumatra, Indonesia, in September 2009, killing more than 1100 people, "may have been only a hint of worse to come."

(Devastating Indonesian earthquake 'still to come')

Since 2004, geologists have been predicting a far nastier earthquake in the region – "a shallow tremor that will rip the sea floor apart, trigger a devastating tsunami and kill far more people."

John McCloskey, a seismologist at the Environmental Sciences Research Institute at the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, predicts a bigger quake will hit Padang.

Over 100,000 people – a seventh of the city's population – are blocked from escaping to higher ground by the barbed wire-laced, 10-metre-high walls of a huge military airport.

"Padang needs to build a tunnel under that airport, because if they don't these poor people will have to run parallel to the coast for several hundred metres while the tsunami is coming at them," says McCloskey.

So far, no steps have been taken to build such an exit route. "Sometimes you despair," he says. (Devastating Indonesian earthquake 'still to come')

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