|Quoting QANTAS077 (Thread starter):|
a massive 7.9 earthquake has hit Indonesia, Tsunami warning is out for the region and NW Western Australia.
They can occur with a 7.9 but not all that common. The real worries I have are twofold. First there was an earlier quake near Krakatau presumably along the transform fault in the Sunda Strait. That might set Krakatau off again, although not all that likely. More of a worry is that it was also at the southern end of the Trans-Sumatera fault. With the plate boundary now having given way from Aceh down to Bengkulu
(oops now up to 8.2 so I take that back about being a bit small for a tsunami, certainly explains why it was felt in Jakarta. Not felt in Bandung, or not by those I talked to.)
When (not if) the Trans-Sumatera fault lets go, it will produce much more damage. There are some quite large towns like Bukit Tinggi built across the fault and the epicentres tend to be shallow. Having the plate boundary move so much in the past two or three years, makes a movement on the Trans-Sumatera much more imminent. Like the San Andreas it is a strike slip fault and can let go along quite a length.
The underground coal miners at Ombilin have a reason to feel a bit more nervous too!
I hope Bengkulu and its inhabitants have survived the event although now I find it was 8.2, the damage will have been severe - that is a lot more energy than a 7.9.
There is a statue of Raffles in its main street. Although Raffles founded the Bogor botanical gardens, which is where his wife is buried, while he ruled Indonesia during the Napoleonic wars (Holland being a bit [pre-]occupied!) his main base was Bengkulu. When he set off to return to the UK, his ship got just clear of the offshore islands (where tonights earthquake was centred) his ship sank, taking with it his botanical records and much of his writings. Raffles managed to get back to shore, but missing most of his possessions.
So Bengkulu has a bit of a history for disasters.