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M7.2  Off the coast of Aceh Barat, 2010


09 May 2010


S of Meulaboh, Indonesia


05:59:44 UTC (12:59:44 WIT)


03.744 N (PDE)


96.091 E (PDE)


45.0 kms (PDE)


Mw 7.2 (PDE; HRV)

Additional Info

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A 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.

The earthquake was centred 41 kms S of Meulaboh (Sumatra), Indonesia,
85 kms W of Blangpidie (Sumatra), Indonesia,
144 kms NNW of Sinabang (Simeulue Island), Indonesia,
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 Island), Indonesia,
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.

On 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 Thailand. 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 southern Myanmar.

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. I
n 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.

Tsunami 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 officials
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 district, 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.

01) National Earthquake Information Centre (NEIC), Golden, USA.
Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor Solution (HRV), Harvard, USA.
03) Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, India.
04) Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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Page Updated: 10 May 2010 | Website Disclaimer

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