Strong shallow earthquake below Simeulue, Sumatra, Indonesia

Simeulue island , Indonesia - image courtesy

FINAL UPDATE 17/01 - 00:30 UTC : We traced some reports of power outages and general panic (people fleeing for the hills as they always fear for a tsunami which could follow a strong earthquake). Some people were so scared that they stayed on the porch of their houses for several hours to be ready for aftershocks.
Residents have reported that the mainshock shaking lasted approx. 5 seconds.
BMKG, the Indonesian Seismological Service, has reported the mainshock with a Magnitude of 5.9 and a depth of 32 km (vs M 5.6 and 16 km reported by USGS).

UPDATE 22:01 UTC : Local media have NOT reported any damage or injuries

UPDATE 17:19 UTC : Another powerful aftershock of magnitude 5.5 with an epicenter almost on the same location than the mainshock. Hypocenter measured at a depth of 24.3 km

UPDATE 14:24 UTC : 2 moderate aftershocks of 4.9 did follow the mainshock

A strong shallow earthquake occurred on the coastline of the island of Simeulue.
Sinabang is the biggest town on the island and has a population of approx. 20,000.
GDACS published a GREEN earthquake alert for this earthquake = very limited chance on damage and/or injuries
Following the theoretical values of USGS a VII shaking will be experienced by 10,000 people and 21,000 people will suffer a VI shaking.
VII MMI = very strong shaking
VI MMI = strong shaking
EMSC has published a Magnitude of 5.8 for this earthquake
Simeulue was very hard hit with the 2004 tsunami (the epicenter of the earthquake was in the greater area of this island).

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M 5.6
UTC Time : Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 11:23:52 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 06:23:52 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 16.2 km
Send an "earthquake experience report" for this earthquake
Geo-location(s) :
Approx. 10 km from Sinabang
285 km (175 miles) WNW of Sibolga, 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

USGS Shaking map
USGS historic earthquakes map

USGS Seismic hazard map

GDACS GREEN earthquake report

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