Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sumatra Earthquake

According to CNN, at least 70 people are dead as a result of an earthquake with a Richter magnitude of 6.3 followed by several very strong aftershocks on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The epicenter is located on the western side of the island according to the above map prepared by the U. S. Geological Survey.

It is a little early for anything to be known about the tectonic mechanism that was responsible for the earthquake, although several countries collaborate in the investigation of every large event in this sensitive region at the intersection of three major tectonic plates. A "focal mechanism" should be posted within the next day or two by the Japanese. The Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysical Agency reports a somewhat lower Richter magnitude of 6.0.

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