An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale rocked a northern Indonesian island today and triggered severe aftershocks and tidal waves all
throughout the southeast Asia region. The northernmost tip of Sumatra received the brunt of the first massive tremblor, which is one of the strongest
quakes recorded in the last century and the second 8+ magnitude quake to strike in the last week. More than 275,000 people are dead in the SE Asia
region, and tens of thousands are missing. An estimated 1/3 of the victims are children. More than half a million people are injured, and thousands
of those are critically injured. Phone lines in the area are down and electricity is out. Many of the deaths are a result of tsunamis, which struck
9 countries in Asia and traveled as far as the east coast of Africa. Millions of people are left homeless, and the death toll is expected to rise
significantly; some officials estimate more than 100,000 people could have perished. Among the dead is the crown prince of Thailand.
The quake caused casualties and damage, Agence France-Presse said, without giving any details. The quake was felt 950 kilometers (589 miles) away
The temblor, which struck about 7 a.m. local time, was centered offshore about 1,605 kilometers northwest of the capital Jakarta, at a depth of 10
kilometers, U.S. seismologists said in a preliminary report on the Web site.
The earthquake would rank among the 10 strongest recorded since 1900, if the preliminary reading isn't revised lower, according to U.S. Geological
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The force of the initial quake was so great that it caused the island of Sumatra to shift almost 100 feet to the southwest. It is believed that a 600
mile rupture occurred on the floor of the Indian Ocean. Scientists also believe the seismic shock was so strong that it caused the Earth to wobble on
its axis and may have shortened our day by 3 microseconds.
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake releases energy equivalent to 32,000 megatons, or about 3,200 nuclear bombs the size dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
Many tourists, including residents of Japan, Britain, Australia and the US, are among the dead.
Nations across the world, including the US, France, Austria, and the EU, have come forward to offer aid in the form of food, supplies, and money.
British Airways is sending empty planes to the flooded Maldives Islands to assist with evacuation of survivors.
Tsunamis struck as far away as Somalia, on the coast of Africa.
More than 80 aftershocks greater than magnitude 5.0 have occurred since the initial quake, along with hundreds of smaller tremors.
This is the 2nd earthquake of 2004 to be measured at a magnitude 8 or greater. Last week, an 8.1 quake struck well offshore of Australia and
caused no damage or injuries.
This is the largest recorded quake in 40 years. A magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck east of Anchorage, Alaska in March 1964.
In a sad coincidence, the Sumatra earthquake fell one year to the day after the destructive tremblor in Bam, Iran, which killed more than 25,000
Related News Links:
Charity Contact Information
- where to go if you want to help the victims in SE
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake - Wikipedia
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[edit on 30-1-2005 by Banshee]