major earthquake off the coast of Aceh Barat district on the west
coast of Aceh province in northern Sumatra, Indonesia on
9 May 2010 at 12:59 PM local time.
It had a magnitude of Mw=7.2 and caused
widespread panic in the region. Despite it size but
given its location, it did not generate a destructive tsunami.
This is the second 'major' earthquake in this immediate region since a
Mw=7.8 earthquake on 6 April 2010.
41 kms S of Meulaboh (Sumatra), Indonesia,
85 kms W of Blangpidie (Sumatra), Indonesia,
144 kms NNW of Sinabang (Simeulue
211 kilometres SSE of Banda Aceh (Sumatra), Indonesia,
225 kilometres SE of Meulaboh (Sumatra), Indonesia,
287 kilometres W of Medan (Sumatra), Indonesia,
320 kilometres NW of Gunungsitoli (Nias
423 kilometres SE of Campbell Bay (Great Nicobar Island), India,
597 kilometres W of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
903 kms WNW of Sentosa, Singapore,
1,198 kms SSW of Bangkok, Thailand.
the coast of Aceh Barat, two houses were damaged at
Jeuram village in the Seunangan district to the south-east of
Meulaboh. Other buildings developed cracks in West Aceh and Nagan
Raya. There was panic at Darul
Makmur, Lhoknga, Meulaboh, Nagan Raya, Tadu Raya and in the
coastal Kuala areas where people were afraid to return to their
homes fearing a tsunami. Eyewitnesses said this earthquake was the
strongest to be felt in Meulaboh since the
26 December 2004 earthquake.
There was widespread panic in
Banda Aceh. Many people living along the coast in areas such as
Lampolo, Kampung Mulia, Kramat, the Kuta Alam district, Meuraxa and Ulee Lheu fled inland congesting roads. At Pidie,
people fled outdoors. The earthquake also caused panic as far as
Medan where people ran outdoors in some instances.
Light tremors were felt as far away as Singapore, Malaysia and
In Malaysia, tremors were felt in many parts of the country
including in high-rise buildings at Kedah, Klang Valley, Langkawi,
Penang and Perlis. On Penang, people evacuated high-rise buildings
at Bayan Lepas, Georgetown and Sungai Dua where tremors were felt for close to
2-minutes. Elsewhere on Penang tremors were felt at Batu
Feringgshi, Batu Kawan and Seberang Jaya . In Thailand,
tremors were felt at Laem Tukhae on Ko Sireh, east of Phuket City
as well as in the capital, Bangkok. According to the USGS CIIM,
tremors were felt as far as Vientiane in Laos and Yangon in
A local tsunami watch
was issued by the PTWC but later lifted for the coast of Indonesia.
Tsunami watches were also issued by local agencies in Indonesia,
Malaysia and Thailand but were later lifted. In Malaysia, tsunami
advisories were issued for Kedah, Perlis and Pinang. In Thailand,
advisories were issued for Krabi, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong, Satun
and Trang but was lifted within an
hour. A few people headed for higher ground at Laem Tukhae
on Ko Sireh to the east of Phuket city.
advisories were not issued for the Indian mainland or for the
Andaman & Nicobar islands after INCOIS
models determined the event posed no danger. Nevertheless, local
were put on alert in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil
Nadu. In Vishakhapatnam and other coastal areas in Andhra Pradesh
people were asked to stay away from beaches, seaside shops were
shut and fishermen were
advised not to venture out to sea. Beaches were cleared of
tourists along the coast including Manginapudi in Machilipatnam
Myapadu & Koduru in Nellore district, Ramakrishnapuram in
Vishakhapatnam, Narsapuram and Mogalturu in West Godavari, at
Kakinada in East Godavari and Suryalanka in Chirala district.
Rough seas were reported along the Andhra Coast but it is
unknown if this was related to the earthquake off Sumatra. At
Narsapuram and at Perupalem in West Godavari district, sea water
flooded a 100-metre area causing panic amongst the local populace.
Similar incidents were reported at Pakala and Singaryakonda
beaches in Prakasam district as well where one person drowned. The navy, Coast
guard and security personnel were alerted at the Satish Dhawan
Space Centre at Sriharikota and at the Krishnapatnam Port Company
Limited. Despite the warnings, crowds
of gawkers gathered at the Ramakrishnapuram beach in
Vishakhapatnam. Advisories were also issued
for the Tamil Nadu coast including the coasts of Cuddalore, Kanyakumari,
Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin. In Chennai, beaches were
deserted and Marina
Beach was declared off limits with all roads leading to it closed.
The Silver Beach was also barricaded at Cuddalore. In
Ramanathapuram district, pilgrims
bathing in the sea at Agnitheertha Kadarkarai were asked to move to safe areas and alerts were sounded
in Arichamunai and Dhanuskodi. In Kanyakumari, tourists were
evacuated from the beach and from the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.