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

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

Earthquake overview : 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.
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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.

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

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Shaking map
Scientific parameters
Human impact map

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SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia Jul 25 13:44 4.6 237 MAP I Felt It
USGS Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia Jul 25 13:44 4.6 232 MAP I Felt It
USGS Simeulue, Indonesia Jul 25 00:27 6.4 22 MAP I Felt It
  • Penang, Malaysia - Feel the shaking while working in the office. Can heard the ceiling weak cracking sound, and can see window curtain shaking. Feel the shaking twice.
  • Penang - I felt it too..
  • EMSC Simeulue, Indonesia Jul 25 00:27 6.4 2 MAP I Felt It
    GEOFON Northern Sumatra, Indonesia Jul 25 00:27 6.3 10 MAP I Felt It
    BMKG Simeulue, Sumatra, Indonesia Jul 25 00:27 6.4 10 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Simeulue, Indonesia Jul 25 00:27 6.6 33 MAP I Felt It

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    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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