TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that the recent powerful earthquake jolted Simeulue Island of Aceh on Tuesday, January 7, was originated from the megathrust segment.
The segment in Nias-Simeulue is active and believed to have potential energy that can release up to an 8.7 magnitude on the Richter scale, said the agency’s head of quake and tsunami mitigation unit, Daryono.
"The potential for a strong quake in this region is indeed very large," Daryono said in Jakarta on Wednesday, January 8.
According to him, as referred to the agency’s data, strong quakes originated from the megathrust zone of the Nias segment had occurred several times. This started from the Simeulue quake on January 4, 1907, with a magnitude of 7.6 which triggered a tsunami and claimed over 400 lives.
Another vast tremor measuring 7.2 magnitudes occurred on November 2, 2002, and resulted in dozens of injuries. And the previous one was a 7.3 magnitude quake on February 20, 2008, that also caused severe damages and claimed four lives.
Daryono further noted that the epicenter of the quake on January 7, 2010, was at the same location of the 1907 earthquake. However, he added, the tectonic quake and tsunami that hit more than a century ago created a local term "smong", an independent evacuation concept that is effective for saving themselves from the 2004 tsunami.