A few earthquakes had been waking up residents in the South Asia region in the past few weeks – way one too many for most to be comfortable with. While Sumatra/Indonesia sits on the Pacific Rim of Fire, but the recent episodes of earthquakes seem to be a sign of a larger one to come. This is somehow similar to the study on Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park in the United States, where geologists believe that there is a huge volume of magma beneath the springs – just waiting to explode and swallow all the tourists in.

In Indonesia, they probably have it worse because most of the victims will be domicile to the place. Let’s just hope the worst won’t come.

JAKARTA – A POWERFUL earthquake measuring 6.3 struck off Indonesia’s Sumatra island early on Monday, officials said.

The quake struck at sea at 9.37am (10.37am Singapore time) some 34 kilometres below ground, Indonesia’s metereology and geophysics office said in a brief telephone text message on Monday.

There were no reports of damage or injuries and there was no tsunami alert.

The United States Geological Survey put the quake at a strength of 6.4.

The quake’s epicentre was nearly 160 kilometres southwest of the town of Painan in West Sumatra province.

Sumatra’s western coast has been repeatedly jolted by strong earthquakes since last month.

On Feb 20, a 7.5-magnitude quake rocked Aceh province, at the tip of Sumatra, killing three people and seriously injuring 25 others on the remote island of Simeulue.

The sprawling Indonesian archipelago sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire where continental plates collide, causing frequent and volcanic activity and earthquakes.

Indonesia was the nation worst hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, which killed some 168,000 people in Aceh alone. — AFP

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 3rd March 2008

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