Wednesday, September 7, 2011


      Jakarta, Sept 7, 2011 (ANTARA) - In the wee hours of Tuesday (Sept 6), a number of Sumatran people who were soundly asleep in their beds, were shocked and immediately rushed out of their houses in panic as they felt a strong tremor that lasted up to two minutes.
      They were awakened by a tectonic earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale that rocked the western coast of southern Aceh Province, on Tuesday at 00.55 am local time, which was felt not only in Aceh, but also in North Sumatra and West Sumatra Provinces, and even in Malaysia.

       Residents of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Kedah and Penang felt the tremor, Malaysia`s Bernama news agency reported.
      The earthquake`s epicenter was located at 2.81 degrees northern latitude, and 97.85 degrees eastern longitude, and 59 km northeast of Singkil Baru District, Aceh Province, at a depth of 76 km on land, Edi Darlupti, the head of the Meulaboh Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency said in Aceh early Tuesday.
       The earthquake was caused by the activity of the Sumatra fault, due to a clash between the Indo-Australia and Euro-Asia plates. It did not have potential to trigger a tsunami because the epicenter was located on land, not sea.
      According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the powerful earthquake claimed at least two lives in Aceh.
      "Based on preliminary data that we have received, two people were killed and one person was slightly injured," BNPB Chief Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
        The earthquake damaged one house of worship, a nurse academy building and three houses seriously, and 15 other houses lightly. "Besides, 160 shops were gutted by fire due to short circuits," the BNPB said.
      BNPB is currently coordinating with the disaster mitigation agencies of North Sumatra and Aceh to assess the damages.

The earthquake affected nine areas in the three provinces of Aceh, North Sumatra and West Sumatra, in Indonesia. Among the affected areas are Sibolga, Aceh Singkil, Nias, Medan, Aceh Sinabang Simelue, Banda Aceh, Padang, Prapat, Pulau Samosir, and Padang Pariaman.

In Aceh province, the shocks were felt by the people in Aceh Singkil District and Subulussalam town with an intensity of four of modified mercalli intensity (MMI IV), in Sinabang (Simeulue) and Banda Aceh, at MMI III, Fany, an operational staff of the Aceh BMKG geological station in Aceh Besar said.

In North Sumatra, the Aceh earthquake was felt in Nias at MMI III, Medan (MMI III), Parapat and Samosir (MMI III-IV). In West Sumatra, the quake with its epicenter in Aceh Selatan was felt in Padang and Padang Pariaman.

There were no aftershocks in Aceh Singkil, some 650 kilometers south of the coast of the province having a population of 4.6 million.

"The epicenter of the quake was on land, and no aftershocks had been recorded, but we called on the people to stay alert," she added.

The quake have caused quite massive damages of houses, several public facilities like school buildings, public health centers, roads and bridges. A child was killed, and some others were injured in Aceh Singkil.

In Subulussalam town, which is very near to Aceh Singkil, the quake killed at least one person, and damaged 2,749 houses in five sub districts, including 133 were moderately and 468 seriously damaged.

"The data on damaged houses in the natural disaster was obtained through an inventory carried out until September 7 at 9.30 am local time. We have submitted the report to the Aceh Governor," Subulussalam Mayor Merah Sakti said on Wednesday.

In Simpang Kiri Sub District, a boy identified as Dedi (12) was killed, another person was injured, 235 houses, five mosques, and eight school buildings were badly damaged.

Meanwhile, 392 houses, six mosques, nine school buildings, a government office building and a community health center were slightly damaged, and 133 houses, seven small mosques and five government houses were moderately damaged in the sub district.

In Sultan Daulat District, 1,375 houses, 26 mosques, 12 school buildings, two government office buildings were moderately damaged, and 93 houses, 11 mosques, three school buildings, and one road were badly damaged.

In Penanggalan Sub District, 129 houses, three mosques, 10 school buildings, and one community health center were lightly damaged. One person was injured, 75 houses, seven mosques, a government office building, and a bridge was seriously damaged.

In Rundeng Sub District, 251 houses, 10 small mosques, four government office buildings, three community health centers, and two bridges were slightly damaged.

Among buildings badly damaged in Rundeng, were 50 houses, eight mosques, 12 school buildings, two government offices, and a community health center.

In Longkip Sub District, the damage included 21 houses, four mosques, three school buildings, and a government office building, while a resident was wounded mildly.

In Trumon Tengah sub district, South Aceh District, the quake damaged hundreds of houses

"Based on the inventory result up to now, a total of 356 houses have cracks in walls, ceilings and floors," Deputy South Aceh District Head Daska Aziz said on Wednesday.

Of the 356 affected houses, 59 were seriously damaged, he said.

The houses are located at Ladang Rimba, Gunung Kapur, Krueng Batee, Ie Jerneh, Cot Bayu, Lhok Raya, Naca and Gampong Teungoh villages.

Despite the damages, none of the local residents evacuated themselves to other places, Deska said.

Trumon Tengah Sub District Head Abdul Munir said the tremor also damaged two mosques and a bridge connecting Tapaktuan and Medan.

"The mosques located at Naca and Gampong Teungoh are seriously damaged. All of their walls have cracks, and the small mosque at Lhok Raya is lightly damaged," he said.

Trumon Tengah Sub District, Aceh Selatan District, is one of the quake affected area located in the border of Subulussalam and Aceh Singkil, which are around 600 km south of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh Darussalam Province.

The earthquake was also felt by residents of Kutacane (Southeast Aceh), Tapaktuan (South Aceh), Banda Aceh (Aceh Province), Kabanjahe, Medan, and Balige (North Sumatra).

A Meulaboh resident, Afrizal said he immediately went out of his house in panic after noticing a lamp in his house was swinging. "Although it did not have potential to cause a tsunami, no one could guarantee that this big house would not collapse," he said.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake also forced residents of Balige, Toba Samosir District, North Sumatra Province, to rush out of their houses in panic.

"The earthquake was felt very strongly that terribly shook the house`s wall. We, the whole family members, immediately tried safe ourselves from a possible collapse of our house," Masrina Siahaan (51), a resident of Napitupulu neighborhood, Balige, said on Tuesday.

Electricity poles were also shaken and iron-sheeting roofs made loud noise due to the earthquake.

Boru Pardede (40), another Belige inhabitant, said he was shocked when his bed was shaken very strongly. He and his family members hurriedly rushed out of their house toward the house`s front yard.

In Berampu and Lae Parira sub districts, Dairi District, North Sumatra Province, the quake also damaged tens of houses and a Catholic church.

"The number of damaged houses is more than 20, " Rewin Silaban of the Dairi administration said on Tuesday.

Dairi authorities will send personnel to the affected locations to asses the damages. "We are now ready to make a field visit," he said.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," the edge of a tectonic plate which is prone to seismic upheavals.

The most powerful one in recent years was a 8.9-magnitude earthquake which triggered a gigantic and deadly tsunami in Aceh Province and Nias Island (North Sumatra Province), which left around 200,000 people dead or missing and around one million other homeless, on December 26, 2004. ***4***


(T.F001/A/F001/B003) 07-09-2011 17:46:15

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