Indonesia – Kelud Volcano Erupts

Kelud Eruption Kills Three People, Forces 100,000 to Evacuate

The eruption at Kelud (Kelut) on February 14, 2014. Image: @hilmi_dzi / Twitter, used by permission.

The eruption at Kelud (Kelut) on February 14, 2014. Image: @hilmi_dzi / Twitter, used by permission.

The eruption at Kelud (Kelut) has rapidly become another humanitarian crisis for Indonesia. After the impressive explosive eruption yesterday, over 100,000 people have had to evacuate the region around the volcano in case further explosions occur. The heavy ash fall from the explosion has coated towns and cities (see below) over 100 km from the volcano and lead to injuries and deaths after a roof collapsed at one of the evacuation shelters. Currently, the death toll from the eruption is only 3 (2 from the roof collapse and 1 from ash inhalation), but that number may climb. At least three international airport were closed due to the ash and the plume itself (at least the sulfur dioxide) was still clearly visible in satellite images (see below). Some people leaving comments on yesterday’s post said they heard the blast of the eruption over 180 km from the volcano and ash was falling upwards of 200 km distant — to the tune of 5 cm! Be sure to check out the discussion of the shockwave from the blast over on the CIMSS Satellite Blog.


The sulfur dioxide plume from the Kelud eruption, seen at XXX UTC on February 14, 2014 via GOME-2. Image: XXX

The sulfur dioxide plume from the Kelud eruption, seen at 0637 UTC on February 14, 2014 via OMI. Image: OMI/NASA-NOAA

The PVMBG has said that they were surprised how quickly the volcano went from having shallow earthquakes to a full-on eruption. Normally, they expect at least 6 hours between the onset of earthquakes before an eruption at Kelud, but in the February 14 eruption, it was only ~2 hours. This meant that implementing the evacuation after raising the alert status was very difficult for Indonesian disaster relief agencies.

The ash from the February 14, 2014 eruption of Kelud in Yogyakarta. Image: Robert Schrader, used by permission.

The ash from the February 14, 2014 eruption of Kelud in Yogyakarta, ~200 km from the volcano. Image: Robert Schrader, used by permission.

Activity at Kelud tends to be punctuated — at least looking at past eruptions — where an explosive event occurs and then the volcano settles. However, it is unclear from any of the reports I’ve seen whether the PVMBG thinks that new eruptions are coming soon. Based on the evacuation that is occurring, my guess is that they think that the volcano will be restless for the foreseeable future. I haven’t seen any news about lahars generated by the eruption so far, but they are a major hazard with any activity at Kelud. Most volcanologists I’ve heard from about the February 14 eruption say it looks to be on scale with the 1990 eruption, which was a VEI 4.


Earthquake – Java Coast

Very Strong (damaging) earthquake along the Java coast, Indonesia

Last update: January 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm by By Armand Vervaeck

Update 15:30 UTC: Until now there are no reports of casualties. Meanwhile,  small aftershocks were felt in the region.

A mosque collapsed in the village of Kranggan

A mosque collapsed in the village of Kranggan

Update: Based on preliminary data report of  “Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana” – BNPB (“National Disaster Management Agency”), two mosques and 45 homes are damaged. Among the most affected cities we mention: Purworedjo, Banyumas, Kebumen, Cilacap, Magelang and Yogyakarta.

Update 07:38 UTC: A mosque in the village of Kranggan collapsed, damaging one neighbour building, No casualities there. Some more houses in Kranggan suffered some damage.

Update 07:26 UTC: Damage is now reported from various parts of south-central Java. One house in Purworedjo collapsed and others were damaged. Little damage, mainly cracked walls, is visible in parts of Yogyakarta. Rockfalls were observed in the hills around the town Kebumen, and in Tasikmalaya (western Java) the quake destroyed many windows. In many parts the people ran out of their houses in panic. Luckily there are no injuries so far.

Update : we do not expect serious damage out of this earthquake because of the distance and the depth of the hypocenter. The depth of the hypocenter is the reason that millions of Indonesians may have felt this earthquake.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 07.41.10 Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 07.41.30 Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 07.43.31

39km (24mi) SSE of Adipala, Indonesia
41km (25mi) S of Kroya, Indonesia
53km (33mi) SW of Gombong, Indonesia
54km (34mi) S of Banyumas, Indonesia
330km (205mi) SE of Jakarta, Indonesia

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.1

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-01-25 05:14:20

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 88 km


Banda Sea – Powerful Quake

Deep harmless earthquake in the Banda Sea (Indonesia) felt until Australia

Last update: September 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm by By

Update 12:12 UTC : In our back office we are receiving from our readers almost the same MMI values from Timor (Dili) as from Australia (Darwin), althoudg the distances to the epicenter are completely different (Dili 319 km and Darwin at least 500 km)

Update 12:12 UTC : The main reason why this earthquake (although very strong but not massive) was felt at such big distances is the depth of the hypocenter. The wave bundle radiates far away from the explosion point and reaches even Australia. Scary but harmless, but always wise to consult our pages if the depth was not shallow.
The earthquake source is located in the hot solid mantle of our planet.

Update 12:12 UTC : This is how the earthquake looks like on the seismograph at Soe (Indonesian part of Timor), the islands relatively close to the epicenter

Seismogram courtesy and copyright Geofon, Germany

Seismogram courtesy and copyright Geofon, Germany

NO Tsunami risk for the whole region (reason : not strong enough and too deep)

319 km E of Dili, East Timor / pop: 150,000 / local time: 20:52:32.3 2013-09-01
2046 km SE of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei / pop: 64,409 / local time: 19:52:32.3 2013-09-01
2079 km W of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea / pop: 283,733 / local time: 21:52:32.3 2013-09-01

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.5

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-09-01 11:52:32

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 134 km


Submarine Eruption off Indonesia

New Submarine Eruption at Iliwerung in Indonesia

Landsat 8 OLI image of Iliwerung in Indonesia on Lembata Island, seen on August 12, 2013. The dark grey area is the volcanic complex, while the grey box marks where the new submarine eruption from the Hobal vent is likely occurring. Image: USGS/NASA.

Interesting news coming out the of the East Nusa Tenggara Province in Indonesia. An undersea volcano off of the southern coast of Lembata unexpectedly erupted over the last few days, producing strongly discolored waters and a plume (likely made dominantly of steam) that reached 2 km (6,500 feet). The latest GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report also mentions incandescence noted at the sea’s surface. According to news reports, the volcano is called “Mt. Hobalt”, however, in the Global Volcanism Program‘s database, no such volcano exist. There is a Hobal that is part of the larger Iliwerung complex in the right area of Lembata, so this seems to be the volcano that is erupting. This volcanic complex has been producing diffuse fumarolic activity since the beginning of the month and the PVMBG noted that seismicity has increased sharply in this area as well.  This new eruption from Hobal has prompted the PVBMG (Center for Vulcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation) to put Hobalt on a Level II alert and warned fishermen and tourists to avoid the area. There have been some fears that this activity near the coast could produce a tsunami, but so far those fears are unfounded. This would be the first eruption from Iliwerung since 1999 and much of the eruptive activity at Iliwerung has been from Hobal since 1973. The last known subaerial eruption from Iliwerung was in 1948 (but records can be incomplete across Indonesia).


Meanwhile, the continued eruptions at Rokatenda has caused a larger-scale evacuation of the region around the volcano. Seven hundred housing units are to be constructed for people who have had to leave their homes since October 2012 due to the ongoing activity. Recently at least 6 people died from a pyroclastic flow that swept across a beach where villagers were living on the island volcano.


Damaging earthquake Gili Islands Area, Indonesia

Earthquake near the Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia far more damaging than earlier expected

Last update: June 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm by By

The earthquake happened at close distance from the Lombok coast but was also felt well at Bali, a major touristic destination

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 08.53.58

12km (7mi) NW of Karangsubagan, Indonesia
30km (19mi) NNW of Mataram, Indonesia
48km (30mi) ENE of Karangasem, Indonesia
50km (31mi) NNW of Praya, Indonesia
1040km (646mi) ESE of Jakarta, Indonesia

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.2

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-06-22 05:42:37

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 10 km

Update 10:38 UTC : Local Lombok Regional Disaster Management Agency, West Nusa Tenggara, reports that the shaking resulted in 1,700 severely damaged houses. 24 people were injured, 3 of them seriously. The seriously injured people are being hospitalized in Tanjung.  The 3 districts who where most severely hit by the shaking were Kecamatan Gangga, Tanjung and Kecamatan Pemenang. We have NO reports of fatalities at the time of writing.
At 6 villages, a lot of brick houses have collapsed. 27 houses of worship, consisting of 15 mosques, 10 temples and two monasteries were damaged at various extend. BPBD has now setup a command post on Lombok to distribute relief aid.
We have no knowledge of tourists being hurt but almost all of them were very scared, especially those residing at Lombok or the Gili Islands.
We have 1 major remark to tourists staying at the island : DO NOT RUN OUT OF YOUR HOTEL WHILE THE SHAKING IS GOING ON, THIS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS YOU CAN DO. Most of people getting hurt during earthquakes are victims of falling objects while running out of houses, offices etc. Read carefully this internationally accepted advise.

Image courtesy and copyright @infojogja via twitpic

Image courtesy and copyright @infojogja via twitpic

Update 10:38 UTC : It is reported that an unknown number of people were injured while fleeing from their homes. No injuries by falling debris so far. The settlement were damage was reported was “Kopang“.

Update 09:02 UTC : Local Indonesian newspaper Merdeka reports that a unspecified number of houses were damaged at Lombok and that a couple of houses even collapsed. At the time of writing there were NO reports of injured people.

Update 08:29 UTC : BMKG shaking map for this earthquake. This shaking map has a common zoom index which means that we cant see the detailed MMI values of the Gili Islands. The shaking map below gives a maximum shaking of MMI IV or light shaking. Based on the Experience reports we have received it was a MMI VI at the nearest island

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 10.34.39

Update 07:29 UTC : After reading some of our own reports from the Gili Islands, we can confirm that at least minor damage was generated. Cracks in walls, fallen plaster, etc.

Update 07:27 UTC : BMKG, the local Indonesian seismological agency reports a Magnitude of 5.4 at a depth of 10 km, more or less in line with the international agencies.

Update 07:21 UTC : The epicenter of this shallow earthquake was below or just off the coast of the Gili Islands. All 3 islands are very touristic and 2 of the islands are very vulnerable for Tsunami waves.  The Magnitude is however not strong enough to generate destructive tsunami waves.

Update : The seismogram of this earthquake. the Geofon seismogram shows also the first aftershocks

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 09.13.24

Update :  One of our readers is reporting broken windows in Lombok, which puts another view on this earthquake. As the earthquake was close to the coast (but as there is always a serious error margin) the coastal habitation may have been hit with some minor structural damage.


Papua, Indonesia Area earthquake

Very strong earthquake close to the Papua, Indonesia coast

Last update: September 8, 2012 at 11:29 am by By

Very strong earthquake close to the Papua, Indonesia coast
56km (35mi) WNW of Nabire, Indonesia
The earthquake is not strong enough to generate a tsunami. As this is no subduction quake, the depth is measured to be 20 km.
Due to the close distance to the coast, a moderate shaking is expected in a radius of 50 km (will be felt by approx. 3000 people). As Papua New Guinea and Papua people are more or less accustomed to earthquakes, and if the earthquake parameters are correct, this earthquake is not considered as dangerous by ER.
Update 11:22 UTC : BMKG, the Indonesian seismological agency, reports a Magnitude of Ml6.3 but at a depth of 55 km.
Update 11:27 UTC : we can only locate a few very small settlements close to the epicenter, which confirms our initial expectations that this earthquake will be probably harmless


Update – Sulawesi, Indonesia Earthquake

Earthquake Sulawesi, Indonesia – 6 people killed – a lot of villages still cut-off from aid due to blocked roads

Last update: August 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm by By

Update 20/08 – 14:58 UTC
The following information should make the 08:58 information more complete (courtesy Jakarta Post)
Due to the area being a national park, the government has forbidden to from construct roads to provide access to the area. To reach the villages, one has to either walk for around six hours, or ride a motorcycle for around three hours. The area also has limited telecommunication access. For all these reasons helicopter deployment is super-urgent. Helicopters can easily distribute aid to the isolated quake victims.
– The Sulawesi Lindu earthquake has killed six people, damaged 1097 houses, seven places of worship, three schools and one government office. Dozens of people suffered minor injuries during the earthquake.

Update 20/08 – 08:58 UTC
– The death toll has unfortunately climbed to 6
– Some reports are talking about 1000+ houses damaged some severely
– The landslides blocking the main road have not been removed completely, making it impossible for Rescue and aid transports to reach a lot of villages (Indonesian reports do speak about dozens of settlements). The landslide area is about 10 km long.
– A lot of villages around the Lindu lake (also a National Park) are still cut off from civilization which means that a complete assessment of the situation has not been done yet and also means that the toll of this earthquake can further increase. The current account of dead, injured and damage is thus far from complete.
– Red Cross Indonesia has promised to send an helicopter on Tuesday … to reach these remote villages.
– The Indonesian army has a big fleet of helicopters. Deploying 5 or 10 helicopters when the weather allows it, would be a great peacefull task. Where are they waiting for ? (comment ER)

Image courtesy

Very Important Update 19/08 – 22:00 UTC
BPBD, the government agency responsible for following up and managing disasters in Indonesia came with a long awaited first official assessment report. Unfortunately bad news.
4 people have been killed during this earthquake.
7 people were seriously injured
51 houses have been reported as severely damaged
The wordt impact occurred in 9 villages in 3 districts Kulawi (Namo, Bolapapu, Boladangko, Tangkulowi, and Saluwa), Lindu (Tomado) and Gumbasa (Pakuli, Tuva and Omu)
– The report is not yet complete as at least 10 landslides are still blocking the main road. Heavy equipment has been send to the landslide areas (bulldozers, trucks, etc)
– Victims with minor injuries have been treated in their respective villages.
– Buildings who have not been affected by the earthquake are used as shelters

Update 19/08 – 12:05 UTC
Avalanches occurred from kilometer 50 to kilometer 60 of on the main road to Kulawi  (border between the District and District Gumbasa Kulawi, Sigi Regency).

Update 19/08 – 12:05 UTC : a classic example of epicenter uncertainty
–  The image below made by our colleagues of  is showing what a difficult task it is to determine the location of the epicenter and accordingly the place to look at for SAR and AID workers to find the most damaged areas. Imagine that you are a rescue authority and that a massive earthquake strikes. Where to go to or to look at first. Telecommunications and power are down, so nobody can tell you what the exact situation of the earthquake is. Additionally, the seismological agencies are doing their best to provide the epicenter location as accurate as possible but they are differing often in tens of km’s for distant quakes, just like we have witnessed here in Sulawesi. Earthquake science is making big steps forward but is far from being 100% accurate. ER tends to give the benefit of the doubt for the local well organized seismological agencies, but as could be read below, also this is far from accurate as they are often nationally structured and as some equipment is installed and read locally, like in this case in Palu. The orange sign is an aftershock. We know that the buttons are hard to read, but the story behind the buttons is that they are far from accurate.
Based on the instruments which are monitored in Palu, the epicenter was located in the Sigi regency. BMKG matched the epicenter best (just north of the Lindu lake)

Epicenter location as reported by the different seismological agencies – image courtesy – Click on the map for the interactive version

Very important update 19/08 – 07:45 UTC (ongoing update):
– a 9 year old boy was killed during the earthquake (some (international) press is talking about 3 killed people, but this could not be confirmed locally at this moment
– 12 people have been seriously injured
– at least 40 houses have been seriously damaged or collapsed
– Houses have been seriously damaged houses in the following villages : Namo, Boladangko, Bolapapu and Tangkulowi  (Sigi district)
– There is still some confusion on where the epicenter was located of the mainshock. Soon after the earthquake epicenter was said to be in the Regency Parigi Moutong. After further investigation BMKG had admitted that the epicenter was located in the Sigi regency (sub-province Kulawi, Gumbasa and Lindu). the update has been reported by BMKG after that the data from the regional BMKG office at Palu was analyzed.
– 200 rescue workers have been mobilized to asses the damage in the villages and to help the people
– The power was off moments after the earth started to shake

for more information and updates, go to:


Dangerous Earthquake – Sualwesi, Indonesia

Earthquake Sulawesi, Indonesia – 9-year old boy killed and dozens injured + lot of damaged buildings

Last update: August 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm by By

Update : The population versus the epicenter radies is as follows (courtesy GDACS) :
Radius    Population
100 km    1.2 million people
75 km    1 million people
50 km    900000 people
20 km    41000 people
10 km    1600 people
5 km     <1000 people
2 km     <1000 people
Based on these data and based on our experiences, about 50,000 people are having damage and injuries risks. To the positive side we have to explain that the building style in the area is mostly of wood and bamboo which is very earthquake resistant.

Shaking map courtesy USGS

Theoretical calculations are reporting that 120000 people may have experienced a potential damaging strong shaking!
In 1985 a similar M6.6 earthquake made no fatalities at 85 km from the current epicenter. Although this is looking good, earthquakes are hard to compare and almost never have the same output.

We are currently writing at this article, please refresh every couple of minutes.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Mw 6.6
UTC Time : Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 09:41:54 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 05:41:54 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 20.2 km
Geo-location(s) :
56 km (34 miles) SSE of Palu, Indonesia
72 km (44 miles) W of Poso, Indonesia

pdate 16:57 UTC : Landslides have blocked the important road to Kulawi.

Update 16:41 UTC : The earthquake scene includes the districts of Sigi and Gumbasa. Hundreds of people have chosen to spend the night in tents (or self made tents or tents from the disaster authorities) as they are afraid to stay overnight is sometimes already damaged houses. Putting a tent in their own garden is guarding at the same time their property.
At present we can report that at least 30 houses have been seriously damaged and 100 slightly damaged.

Important update 16:15 UTC : Unfortunately we have to report that a 9 year old boy was killed by falling debris during the M 6.2 earthquake in Sulawesi. Dozens have been injured. (source Indonesian media stating BPBD)

Update 15:25 UTC : At least 23 houses have been damaged in Paragi Mountong district, close to the epicenter. The villages where the damaged houses are located are Desa Namo, Bolapapu, and Tangkolowi.

Update 15:05 UTC : A BPBD spokesman said that 2 people have been injured by falling debris in the village of Parigi Mountong, a district close to the epicenter.

Update 14:45 UTC : The American seismological agency USGS has updated the earthquake data and decreased the Magnitude from 6.6 to 6.3. The hypocenter depth has been changed from 20.2 to 19.9, not a real difference.

Update 14:30 UTC : The earthquake happened during the last hours of the Ramadan. The end of the Ramadan is a great feast for all the families.

Update 13:43 UTC : We are trying to obtain more news from the earthquake area but so far without a lot of details. As the night has fallen and as a lot of people do not want to go inside, we will need to wait until a calmer period. Electricity has been restored shortly before 7 PM in many populated areas.

Update 12:59 UTC : People in Palu have mentioned that the shaking lasted about 15 seconds. Darkness has fallen in Indonesia now, so it may take a lot of hours before we will have reports from the epicenter area. The current reports are arriving from the bigger cities at tens of km from the epicenter. As said before, the radius we have called very dangerous for injuries and serious damage is approx. 20 km around the epicenter. The locations were damage was reported are outside this radius !

Update 12:46 UTC : Shaking was felt until Palu City, Donggala, Poso, and Morowali which is about 100 kilometers from the epicenter. Panic broke out in a shopping mall in Palu city. A first overview is reporting many damaged buildings in Tavanjuka and Sigi

Update 11:51 UTC :  17 minutes after the mainshock a first strong M4.9 aftershock has been recorded.

Update 11:49 UTC :  The earthquake occurred along the Palu Koro fault line who is moving at a speed of 3 cm per year! The Palu Koro fault stretches over a distance of 800 km. A BPBD (National Disaster Management Agency) spokesperson said that the fault is known as very dangerous. The epicenter following this agency was at only 40 km from the big city of Palu. First reports out of Palu are not mentioning serious damage to important buildings.

Update 11:40 UTC :  As could be expected with this kind of strong earthquake, the power was down.

Update 11:30 UTC :  BMKG reported that the epicenter of the earthquake was located at 27 km Southwest of Central Sulawesi Parigimoutong or 40 miles Southeast Sulawesi Tenggah Palu.

Update 11:18 UTC : In Palu, a city located 54 km from the epicenter, people ran in panic out of their houses. Palu has 282,000 inhabitants !

Lindu lake – image courtesy Mujiyanto

Update 11:09 UTC : Ranu Lindu or Lindu Lake is an Indonesian National Park. The hills surrounding the lake are quite low making landslides less evident, although they can also be generated in lower hills if the area has been saturated by rain. The area of the national park is 2,180 km² covering both lowland and montane forests. It provides habitat to numerous rare species, including 77 bird species endemic to Sulawesi. The national park is designated as part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. In addition to its rich wildlife, the park also contains megaliths dating from before 1300 AD.
The easiest access to visit the national park is from Palu to Kamarora (50 kilometers in 2.5 hours drive). Due to a lot of rainfall up to 4,000 mm a year in the southern part of the national park, the best time to visit is from July to September. ER : luckily we are currently in the relatively dry season

Update 11:07 UTC : Indonesian sources report no casualties or damage but this of course far too soon to say something like that. The strongest shaking has been experienced in a very remote area and it may take many hours before that we get a decent report. Additionally darkness will fall in a few hours making eventual rescue and assessment tasks even more difficult.

Very Important Update 10:48 UTC : Totally different (and less dangerous) numbers at BMKG, the seismological agency from Indonesia. BMKG reports at Magnitude of 6.2  (a HUGE difference in energy) at a depth of 10 km. Nevertheless these better numbers, the earthquake remains dangerous. BMKG (which has the most seismological instruments installed in Sulawesi, puts the location of the epicenter to the north of the lake. Once more we see totally different data depending on the seismological reports. It will take a while before the conflicting data will be solved. BMKG also reported that nobody has to fear for a tsunami but we know from earlier experiences that everybode will have fled to higher grounds following the shaking.

Update 10:48 UTC : The nearest populated places are: Pangana (17km), Tomado (7km), Loeo (11km). The closest civilian airport is Mutiara (52km).

Update 10:43 UTC : People may have been very lucky to have experienced a M4.7 foreshock at the same area a little less than 2 hours before the main earthquake struck. Indonesian people have the habbit to auto-evacuate if a strong shaking happens and a lot of them may have been out of their houses.

Update : this earthquake is not a (less dangerous) subduction earthquake, but a transform earthquake. Transform earthquakes are far more dangerous because of the ground movement styles.

Update : There is a substantial wave risk on the very big Rano Lindu lake as the epicenter of the earthquake happened only a few km from the lakeshore

for more information and updates, go to:

Strong Earthquake – Sumatra, Simeulue

Very strong earthquake causes 1 death in Indonesia (Sumatra, Simeulue island)

Last update: July 25, 2012 at 9:55 am by By

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M6.4 (BMKG), M6.4 (USGS)
UTC Time :   00:27:45 UTC, 25th July 2012.
Local time at epicenter : 7:27:45am WIB, 25th July 2012.
Depth (Hypocenter) : 10km (BMKG), 22km (USGS)

Geo-location(s) :
28km (17mi) NW of Sinabang, Indonesia
64km (101mi) S of Meulaboh, Indonesia
260km (161mi) W of Kabanjahe, Indonesia
275km (170mi) WSW of Binjai, Indonesia
620km (385mi) W of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Update 09:40 UTC : – Local sources are reporting cracked walls and loosened ceilings in many buildings like mosques, cultural centers etc.
– Electrical current is still down in the central part of the island (8 hours after the earthquake). Power company personnel is working hard to repair the damage.

Important update : Mr. Puyong was unfortunately killed (district of Teupah Barat) when he fell running out of his house. The death cause was probably due to high blood pressure because of an illness.

Landscape at the western part of Simeulue island, Aceh province, Indonesia image courtesy Haris Aceh

This is named as an indirect death, and mean that this earthquake will be labeled CATDAT Orange.

The earthquake was felt strongly in the Simeulue district with many people running out of their houses in fear.

The shaking was felt as about a intensity V.

Update : 190000 people are living within a radius of 100km of the epicenter.

Update : 5000 people will have experienced a MMI VI (strong shaking) (parameters based upon theoretical calculations). 89000 people felt a moderate MMI V shaking and 415000 people a light shaking.

Update : Seismological agencies do not seem to agree on the epicenter location. USGS locates the epicenter in a bay to the east of the island. Local BMKG, west of the island. BMKG reports a depth of 10 km. An epicenter location in the Ocean has a  weakening effect on potential damage.

Update : BMKG, the Indonesian seismological agency did report that there was no risk for a tsunami. In general earthquakes below M7 do normally not generate tsunamis

The epicenter of the earthquake was in a bay at the eastern part of the island of Simeulue, an island district of Sumatra. Simeulue is the closest island to the mega subduction fault line who was responsible for a number of cruel earthquakes and tsunamis the last 15 years. A lot of people lost their lives. In other words earthquakes are common at Simeulue but most of the time the origin is in the Ocean. Today’s earthquake was the first powerful one since many months.


What Do You Do With A Smoking Orangutan?

How Do You Help An Orangutan Quit Smoking?

July 7, 2012


Michael Harper for – Your Universe Online

Anyone who has tried to kick the cigarette habit knows that it can be incredibly difficult. Adding to the difficulty and frustration are all the little cliches and tips offered by well-meaning co-workers, family and friends.

“Once you get past the third day, you’re in the clear,” say some, while others hold that it takes one week to completely get over the hardest hurdle.

Others will suggest taking up a new habit, such as chewing gum or chewing on toothpicks imbued with tea tree oil. I don’t recommend this tactic, however. Splinters hurt even more when lodged in your gums and lips.

There’s also the eternal debate between quitting cold-turkey and slowly weaning yourself from the nicotine habit. Is it better to stamp out your last cigarette with a self-righteous punctuation, claiming to never again put a smoke to your lips, or is it more prudent to step down from 1 pack a day to a half a day? To quote a popular candy commercial, The world may never know.

As hard as it is for a human to quit smoking, it must be even harder for an orangutan to kick the habit.

For over a decade, Tori the Indonesian orangutan has been bumming cigarettes from passersby, enjoying the kind of smooth satisfaction a primate can only find in taking a long, slow draw from a ciggy. Indonesia, as it turns out, is a very “smoker-friendly” kind of country. In fact, nearly 70% of Indonesian men over 20 are smokers.

One day, nearly 10 years ago, one of these smokers haplessly tossed a lit cigarette into Tori’s cage. The rest, as they say, is smoky history.

Since it’s pretty entertaining to watch a monkey smoke, this has become a sort of trick Tori performs for her guests. She’ll hold up two fingers, indicating that she wants to share a smoke with her friends. Someone will light one up and toss it in her cage. She’ll then run over, pick it up, and take a deep draw, blowing the smoke out of her nostrils. The Indonesians just love it.

“It is very common in Indonesian zoos for people to throw cigarettes or food [at animals] even though there are signs to not feed or give cigarettes,” says Hardi Baktiantoro for the Centre of Orangutan Protection (COP). “It happens all the time. [In Tori’s case], people will throw cigarettes in, watch her smoke, start laughing and take pictures,” he told the Guardian.

It’s always fun and daring at first, of course. You meet a new friend, you decide to do something daring and reckless, and you have a smoke or two at the bar, more as a decadence than anything. Then one day you realize you’re hooked. It’s a scary time.

Now, some activists have decided it’s time for Tori to give up her habit and, with the help of the COP, she’ll go Cold Turkey. They’ll be moving her to another part of the zoo in a mesh-covered cage to prevent visitors from throwing their butts Tori’s way. It’s likely Tori won’t take too kindly to this move however, as she already becomes quite agitated when people don’t throw her their smokes when she asks. The COP will also start to watch Tori’s health, starting with a test on Saturday to measure how much 10-years worth of smoking have affected Tori’s health.

Indonesia’s Zoos aren’t bastions of animal health, apparently, as it was reported 2 years ago that 25 animals were dying prematurely every month. Just last March, a giraffe died after it ate a nearly 40 pound ball of plastic which was thrown into its pen by a visitor.

While any death of an animal is terrible, it’s worth pointing out that the giraffe did not die from smoking.


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