Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Lombok Has Megathrust Earthquake Potential: BMKG



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaMeteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) of Mataram office head Agus Riyanto announced that the agency’s tsunami modeling result showed South Lombok has a potential of megathrust earthquake with 8.5 magnitudes and a tsunami with a height of 20 meters as far as five kilometers.

    “No one knows when it will happen, even advanced technology cannot predict the time,” said Agus during a sideline of the seminar on disaster mitigation taken place in NTB Nahdatul Ulama University, Mataram, Thursday, July 4.

    He explained if the major quake hit the region, the affected areas would include Kuta, Awang, Selong Belanak, West Lombok, and Mataram. As for Mataram City, the tsunami could reach up to 2 kilometers from the coast.

    “While in southern areas, it may reach 3-5 kilometers, and will also affect special economic zone Mandalika,” he added.

    Referred to the history and research results, Agus went on, the major quake had occurred in southern waters, especially in Lombok 500-1000 years ago, while the last one stroke Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) in 1977, and similar disaster had never occurred thus far. However, the public must remain vigilant.

    “There is no activity until today; if it happens, hopefully, it’ll be in small intensity. But if it’s quiet for a long time, that means it’s collecting energy, and we don’t want it to happen. As previously occurred in Aceh in 2004 after hundreds of years,” he explained.

    Therefore, tsunami modeling was necessary to be conducted, so the government and all parties could take anticipative measures and establish education concerning disaster mitigation, as well as call for the people to build earthquake-resistant houses.

    A professor of geosciences at Brigham Young University, Utah, the United States, Prof. Ron Harris agreed on BMKG data. Based on his study, along with 11 his team members from across US’ universities, the result revealed movements in the subduction zone in the waters of South Lombok.

    “An earthquake with 9 magnitudes is really strong because the position is at Java trench, but we don’t know the location; Lombok, Bali, or Java. If that happens, it will trigger a tsunami,” he said.