12 December 2008

Corals predict a major earthquake in 20-30 years in Sumatra

Corals off Sumatra showed a major earthquake had occurred every 200 years since 1300.
A study found a series of events from 1350 to 1380, from 1606 to 1685 and from 1797 to 1833. The 2007 quake seems to be part of a similar pattern, but the history is so variable they cannot make an exact forecast.

Nevertheless, to those living in harm's way on the coasts of western Sumatra, it should be useful to know that the next great earthquake and tsunami are likely to occur within the next few decades, well within the lifetimes of children and young adults living there now.

Singapore will feel the tremors of the earthquake but will be largely spared from its destructive impact, he added.

"If previous cycles are a reliable guide we can expect one or more very large west Sumatran earthquakes ... within the next two decades." The earthquake could be similar to the magnitude 9.15 earthquake which sparked the devastating 2004 tsunami and left 230,000 people either dead or missing across Asia.

"The tsunami could be at five meters in Padang (in Sumatra). This is a worse case scenario."

Full articles on the wildsingapore news blog.

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