156 Earthquakes Have Jolted Northern Parts of Sumatra in a Week: BMKG



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Deli Serdang Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) in North Sumatra Province has recorded 156 earthquakes that rocked the northern parts of Sumatra Island from September 25 to October 1, 2020.

    "The rate of the earthquake occurrence has significantly increased compared to that of a week ago which was recorded at 29," the agency's head, Teguh Rahayu, was quoted by ANTARA as saying here on Sunday.

    This week's high tectonic activities were triggered by almost all faults in the northern parts of Sumatra Island with the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) scales of between 1.3 to 4.9 and depths of between one and 147 kilometers, she said.

    On Sept 30, for instance, earthquakes jolted the districts of Aceh Barat Daya, Nagan Raya, Bener Meriah, and Aceh Jaya in Aceh Province.

    The magnitude of the earthquake that rocked 24 kilometers away from northwest of Blangpidie Subdistrict's areas in Aceh Barat Daya District was measured at 3.5, Rahayu said.

    Earthquakes regularly rock various parts of Indonesia due to the fact that the country lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

    One of the deadliest earthquakes in Indonesia that occurred over these past two years was the one that struck several areas of Central Sulawesi Province.

    The 7.4-magnitude earthquake which was followed by tsunami that hit the areas of Palu city and the districts of Donggala, Paringi Moutong, and Sigi on Sept 28, 2018, claimed 2,102 lives, injured 4,612, and rendered 680 others missing.

    A total of 68,451 homes were seriously damaged, and 78,994 people were displaced.

    Due to a large number of rotting corpses, the authorities and humanitarian workers decided to bury them in mass graves.

    Meanwhile, material losses inflicted by the twin deadly disasters were estimated to reach Rp15.29 trillion.

    The provincial capital of Palu took the brunt of the disaster, with material damage and losses recorded at Rp7.6 trillion, or 50 percent of the total estimate, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

    The material damage and losses in Sigi district were recorded at Rp4.9 trillion, or 32.1 percent, Donggala district at Rp2.1 trillion, or 13.8 percent, and Parigi Moutong district at Rp631 billion, or 4.1 percent.

    The material damage in the four affected areas reached an estimated Rp13.27 trillion, while the material losses reached approximately Rp2.02 trillion, the agency revealed in October 2018.

    Read also: 15 Years On; Behind the Catastrophic Aceh Tsunami and Earthquake