Very strong (deep) earthquake below Sumatra, Indonesia – 3 people killed, people injured + 1000′s of houses and buildings damaged (in various degrees)

Last update: September 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm by By

Earthquake overview : The very strong Singkil, Aceh earthquake at intermediate depth happened below land on Sumatra, Indonesia. 3 people have been killed (1 direct and 2 indirect impact), numerous houses collapsed, much more were damaged and widespread panic in very big cities like Medan.
We need urgently somebody to translate this article into Indonesian, as we want to serve also the Indonesian people. Send us a message if you want to inform other Indonesians the best possible way.
"I have Felt it" Reports –> see below + Let us know how you have felt this earthquake
"Saya telah Felt itu" Laporan -> lihat di bawah + Marilah kita tahu bagaimana Anda merasa gempa ini
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).

Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available

Update 07/09 – 12:47 UTC : The BPBD (Sinkhil Disaster Management Agency) is quite upset about the media horror caused by this earthquake. They refer to only 1 person killed by direct impact.
Tribunnews maintains his story (with details) that at least 2 other people have been victim of the earthquake by Indirect impact.
Earthquake-report : @ ER we are focusing on trusted sources who are reporting detailed storries about what happened, often citing the names of the affected people, which village what happened, etc. Most of our sources are or official or local press (many reporters) who can be trusted. Also important for ER are the indirect deaths of an earthquake. People killed by an heart attack during the shaking  are indirect victims of the earthquake.

IMPORTANT Update 07/09 – 07:08 UTC : Indonesian authorities have reported that a 4th person has been killed (1 boy was killed by direct impact, the other 3 by indirect causes like explained in the initial article (link above).  The damage was (as usual) far underestimated the first day after the earthquake. Since yesterday authorities have continued to make further assessments of the situation. Their reports have revealed much more impact than originally thought. 1,417 houses were destroyed in Subulussalam, 417 houses were severely damaged and many more slightly damaged. 3 counties alongside Subulussalam (Pakpak Bharat, Humbanghasundutan (Humbahas), and Dairi) also suffered severe damages. Besides houses, also office buildings, mosques, schools, hospitals, irrigation infrastructure, etc etc  was damaged.
Besides the 4 killed people, 3 people in Dairi were reported severely injured.
The Aceh Disaster Management Agency (BPBA) and the Social Service of Aceh have provided quick relief aid to the affected people in the earthquake zone.
The damage estimate, in Subulussalam alone would exceed 50 billion Rupiah.
Residents of Subulussalam and Singkil have said that the shaking went on for about 2 minutes what explains the damage and victims (the longer the quake is lasting, the more vulnerable buildings become).

Update : Landslides and debris have closed the main road between Kabanjahe and Kutacane, Southeast Aceh Regency. The closure has led tp a queue of hundreds of buses from Kabanjahe toward Kutacane, or vice versa. Heavy equipment from the Public Works Department was deployed to clear landslides and debris.
Additionally numerous other roads in the Aceh province have been blocked by landslides, cracks, holes etc.

Update 17:18 UTC A third and probably last person has been reported killed. 2 people are from the Subussalam District. The third person  lived in the Dairi district. Additionally 3 people have been slightly injured. This information has been released by the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB). On top of the earlier announced damage (see below) also 15 irrigation systems were seriously damaged.
BNPB personnel are currently making further assessments and are also working on relief and aid to the region.

Update 15:34 UTC : The governor of the Aceh province has estimated that the damage caused by the earthquake will reach more than 40 billion Rupiah (4.7 million US$) (early estimate for the Singkil district). People are returning more and more to their houses and the living conditions are gradually normalizing. Very strange for this earthquake is the almost complete lack of aftershocks! This is very unusual.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 12:44 UTC : Hundreds of homes in the villages of Desa Tangga Besi, Kecamatan Simpang Kiri and Subulussalam are uninhabitable.
Damage also occurred to a number of mosques in District of Kecamatan Simpang Kiri.
Nearly all the pillars of the mosque are cracked. Damage was also inflicted to the ceiling stucco of the mosques. Residents are afraid to enter the damaged mosks.
The districts of Sultan Daulat, Simpang Kiri and Longkib have also reported severe damages.
People will need help from the local governments to repair and rebuild their destroyed houses.
BPBD Kota Subulussalam has reported that 5 mosques, 11 schools, 3 health centers and 21 houses and shops were seriously damaged in the city of Subulu. Losses estimated at tens of billions of rupiak.

Update 07:24 UTC : The toll of this earthquake is becoming heavier since daylight has given a better view on what happened and since remote villages could be inspected by rescue teams.
John Linn (50) has been killed after he was traumatized by the shaking of the quake. He allegedly suffered on asthma.
Hundreds of houses have been damaged and even more walls have been cracked.

Update 04:57 UTC : The building of the Midwifery Academy of Subulussalam also suffered heavy damage, and dozens of units of houses were also damaged. Public facilities were damaged in Subulussalam and the District Simpang Kiri.  Two people have been slightly injured by a collapsing house in addition to the death of Rianda Syahputra, 10, a resident of the Village of North Subulussalam, Subulussalam, Aceh Province. Local authorities are still collecting damage statistics.

Update 04:55 UTC : In addition, the secretary of Subulussalam on Aceh said that at least 12 schools have minor damage and 3 health centers also have damage.

Update 04:51 UTC : A number of houses have been destroyed in Subulussalam and the damage has been estimated in the billions of rupiah (millions of dollars). The boy (Rianda Syahputra, a resident of the Village of North Subulussalam, Subulussalam, Aceh Province) who was aged 10, died from a collapsing wall. CATDAT Red rating has been issued.

Update 23:29 UTC : The BMKG epicenter was located at 59 kilometers north-east Singkil, Aceh and 78 miles Southwest of Kabanjahe, North Sumatra

Short 2 minutes 27 seconds informative video of this earthquake
Balazs Szombath has produced a short video for those among you who do not like to read a lot

[youtube s3SUMzI8mOw]

Update 23:29 UTC : A house in Tiga Binanga (approx. 30 km from the epicenter) has also been heavily damaged.

Update 23:02 UTC : The full extend of the damage (if there is damage) will be revealed within 2 to 3 hours.

Update : The picture at right is courtesy and copyright and shows some damage inflicted by the earthquake.

Update 22:24 UTC : It is now 05:22 in Indonesia and we still have no serious reports from the epicenter area. We do not expect major widespread damage, but a limited number of damaged and collapsed houses are always possible.

IMPORTANT update : METROTV Indonesia reports  that a 12 year old boy has been killed by a collapsed house.
We advise people who understand Indonesian to follow the very good news updates from METROTV. Click here for the news bulletins of this station.

Update : MetroTV is talking about cracked houses (still dark in Indonesia).

Update : The quake was well felt in the following locations : Medan, Siantar, Langkat, Sibolga, Tana Karo and  North Sumatra

Update : WAPMERR, the theoretical damage engine reports : USGS gives 119 km depth. A recent earthquake at similar depth generated high frequency waves that did more damage than expected in Padang. Thus, casualties are possible in this case, although not likely to be numerous. Here, we consider the worst case (map attached)

Update : It has been reported however in Singkil that people also fled from their homes thinking that a tsunami may come. However, there is no tsunami threat.

Update : Hundreds of patients were evacuated from 1 hospital in Medan. The area is said to have been also without power.

Update : It was felt for 30 seconds in the location of Dairi. Reports from Indonesian news sources say the tremor was alleged to have caused an electrical installation in the Dairi to become disrupted as residents experienced power outages. "It is pitch black". From ground level they also believe that there must be damage given the shock. It is the strongest earthquake that a lot of residents have ever felt according to them.

Update : Further reports indicate power outages in the epicentral area, but these reports still do not know of any collapsed houses or casualties.

Update : BMKG is reporting a Ml6.7 , with 78km depth at 2.81 N- 97.85 E. BMKG is the main Indonesian Geophysical center (as well as meteorology).

Update : Reports from near the epicenter through Indonesian press show that the earthquake was felt very strongly, and people have left their homes in panic, however this was a lot due to the memory of the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 in the same region.

Update : Strangely enough, very few CATDAT damaging earthquakes have occurred in this epicentral region historically. Generally they occur further offshore. The depth of the earthquake has meant that shaking is not as strong as expected. 1990 and 2005 had shocks within 150km.

Update : The 'I Have Felt It reports' we have received so far are coming from Malaysia + 1 from Medan, Indonesia

Update : The data below are weakening the earthquake to an important but probably minor dangerous quake. Let us hope it. It will take several hours before the situation in the inland hypocenter area will be clarified. We will of course update when more information becomes available.

Shaking map courtesy USGS - Yellow area = MMI VI strong shaking

Update : Data from other seismological agencies are confirming the deep hypocenter :
BMKG (Indonesia) : 6.7 @ 78 km
EMSC (Europe) : 6.6 @ 95 km
GFZ (Germany) : 6.6 @ 91 km
China : 6.6 @ 110 km
Australia : 6.6 @ 101 km

Update : We continuously try to reach the local Indonesian seismological website, but it hangs constantly (probably to many attempts to reach the website).

Update : The earthquake occurred at 00:55 AM and however deep, we feel that this earthquake is strong enough to create (minor) damage and injuries.

Update : It is very normal that people in Malaysia and Thailand will have felt this earthquake as the' shaking is generated by the combination of the deep hypocenter and the magnitude.

Update : Even with this deep hypocenter, USGS still predicts a MMI VI, strong shaking in a wide area around the epicenter.

IMPORTANT Update : USGS has recalculated its data and comes now with a magnitude of 6.6 (earlier 6.5) and the good news is a far deeper hypocenter at 110 km (instead of 52 km earlier on). The new epicenter location is luckily in a wilderness area  at approx. 20 km from Siempat Nempu Hilir.

Update : USGS pager is giving only a very slight probability of injured and damage. All will depend on the precise depth of the earthquake.

Update : the villages closest to the epicenter are : Kluet Selatan, Bakongan and Trumon. The epicenter is approx. 15 km from the coast. A tsunami is not likely as the magnitude is limited and the epicenter is below land (if the preliminary data are correct).

Update :  the earthquake is felt as far as Thailand

Update :  A V moderate MMI (moderate shaking is reported from Banda Aceh

Update : The earthquake was even felt at Penang, Malaysia

M 6.5      2011/09/05 17:55     Depth 52.3 km     NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
September 06, 2011 at 12:55:09 AM at epicenter
130 km (81 miles) SW (236°) from Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia
Satellite map of the greater epicenter area

"I Have Felt It" reports as received by
MMI values (if indicated) after the text (III: Weak shaking, IV Light shaking, V Moderate shaking, VI Strong shaking, VII Very Strong shaking)
- We have a report coming in from Medan stating a Strong shaking
- Another report from Malaysia that people there felt a weak shaking
- Kajang, Malaysia : at about 2:00 AM (Malaysian Time)6th September 2011 we felt the building shaking from the 7th floor (weak shaking indicated)
- Sitiawan Perak, Malaysia : MMI III (weak shaking indicated)
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Was actually in the living hall, working on my assignment until i felt the building is slightly shaking for about 1-2 mins.
- Penang, Malaysia : I felt the tremor at my residence in the state of Penang, Malaysia. Doors and windows were rattling away for about 30 seconds or so. It was obvious since I live at the 6 floor of my apartment building. The emergency alarm was not set off since it was very brief. I pray for the safety of people in Sumatra
- Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia : About 2am 6/9/2011 suddenly felt shaking on the ground and the water in the fish tank also shown waving. The shake only last about 20-30 sec (not counted actually).

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6.5 6.6
UTC Time : Monday, September 05, 2011 at 17:55:13 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, September 06, 2011 at 12:55:13 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 52 km 110 km
Geo-location(s) :
Very close to Kluet Selatan, Bakongan and Trumon
100 km (62 miles) SW of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Shaking map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map

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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται – Yo lo siento – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه

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