Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Next big earthquake and tsunami will be in Padang

There is a growing concern that the next big earthquake and tsunami will happen in the city of Padang in Indonesia. Scientists say that all the different segments of the subduction zone along Sumatra have released their energy except that of Padang. From AFP:
"We now know that the Mentawai segment (facing Padang) has accumulated a lot of strained energy. It will be the next one to rupture," he told AFP.

Natawidjaja estimated that the quake's magnitude could reach 8.5 to 8.9.

"The shaking will be very strong" in Padang, he said, with many buildings likely to collapse.

The number of casualties "will depend on how many people can escape" but, according to a worst-case scenario, a tsunami wave would be 5.5 metres high and go two kilometres deep into Padang, devastating "half of the city".

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