Today’s 6.6 earthquake in northern Sumatra killed a young boy when his house fell on top of him. There was also other damage and shaking was felt a long way off, as much as 600 km. The quake was inland so there was no danger of a tsunami, and irt was measured to be 120 km deep. The Indo-Australia plate dives deep under the Asian Plate at this position. And while it is connected to the ring of fire it’s not strictly speaking a part of that ring as the ring of fire goes north at the Philippines and rings the Pacific ocean, this is the Indian Ocean.
This line of faults starting at Fiji and following a curving line to the west to Sumatra has been giving a lot of quakes this year with most being either out to sea or in sparsely populated areas. When they happen on land in one of the most populous areas of the world there are bound to be casualties. and most of the buildings they live in are poorly built huts and houses in small villages.
And being in the area of the world that has the most earthquakes we have to realize there will be casualties. While this was a deep quake it still shook the surface enough to topple this child’s house on him as he slept and took his life. For those of us who follow the earth’s shacks and movements for learning about how our planet works the death of a child is always a bad thing. Our hope is that by learning from the earth we can someday predict these tremors and so warn people and save lives; but that road is paved with the deaths of millions and it seems such a long way off.
We tell people to build with shaking in mind, use modern materials with engineered structures but in a lot of places they can’t afford it. In their part of the world where the Indo-Australian plate is moving north into the Asian plate and the pacific ring of fire is so close they have quakes almost daily and you would think they would have this figured out by now. But they have to work hard just to live and build their houses with whatever they have. None of this will help the 12 year old boy who’s house was dumped on him by the earthquake.
- Powerful quake hits western Indonesia (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- 6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes NW of Lake Toba super-volcano caldera (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)