Earthquake Sulawesi (Indonesia) : hundreds of houses damaged + people injured

Sulawesi April 26 earthquake damage - image courtesy

UPDATE 28/04 - 13:12  UTC : The National Logistics Agency of Southeast Sulawesi (Bulog) has started on April 27 to distribute 8 tons of rice to the earthquake victims South Konawe.

UPDATE 28/04 - 12:59  UTC : The picture at right (courtesy proves the big damage inflicted by the 6.2 earthquake shaking.

UPDATE 28/04 - 12:54  UTC : 1 woman is still being treated in the hospital after being injured during the 6.2 earthquake of April 25 2011 (local time)

UPDATE 27/04 - 23:16  UTC : Reports from the earthquake area are showing that the number of injured people did climb to 14.
A lot of people lost their homes and the hardest hit area does need urgently more logistics,  blankets and tents.
Kolono village has been severely damaged.

UPDATE 26/04 - 13:47  UTC : The local police in the hardest hit area is trying to convince the people to return to their houses and tell them NOT to panic for the aftershocks. The constant rumors of tsunami danger makes people almost crazy. People in the villages have rarely Internet and do normally not know where the epicenter is centered.  They have learned some expensive lessons in the past and try to be prepared the best they can without modern communication equipment. We like this kind of attitude at although we feel that persons sending panic in the crowds by telling wrong information should be imprisoned !

UPDATE 26/04 - 13:42  UTC : Other people don't dare to enter their houses as they are afraid that aftershocks might bury them under the rubble. The people in the area have been hit by many shallow aftershocks, the last one only 3 hours ago (4.7 at 18 km).  Approx. 40 aftershocks have been counted after the mainshock.

UPDATE 26/04 - 13:35  UTC : Only a limited number of people have returned to their homes after evacuating the villages they lived in during the earthquake. The people in South Konawe are so frightened of eventual aftershocks and from tsunamis that 40% stayed behind in their safe evacuation locations.

UPDATE 26/04 - 07:22 UTC : Robert Speta made another video with some update on this earthquake, 24 hours after it occurred. For specific locations and detailed content, please refer to the text below.

UPDATE 23:23 UTC : The present earthquake is the strongest that people experienced in more than 10 years.

UPDATE 22:59 UTC : The damaged villages are : Lapuko, Moramo Village, Village Bororo, Landipo Village, Village Lakomea, Wawondengi Village, Village Tambosupa, Amohola Village, Village Wawosunggu and Village Panambea Darata.

Damaged house in the Southeast Sulawesi earthquake - image courtesy

UPDATE 22:56 UTC : At least dozens of houses were severely damaged and in ruins in Moramo district which was supposedly the hardest hit area during this earthquake.

UPDATE 22:54 UTC : A number of houses are severely damaged by falling coconut trees.

UPDATE 22:48 UTC : So far only the situation Moramo and Kendari districts has been described. The emergency services  will certainly visit other locations in other districts tomorrow. We will report on it when data becomes available.

UPDATE 22:29 UTC : A transform 6.2 magnitude earthquake at a depth of only 9 km is a potentially very dangerous event. The main reason that there will be hopefully no killed people is that the houses are made in wood or in bamboo. If these houses collapse the outcome is far better than with brick or concrete.

UPDATE 22:24 UTC : The extend of this earthquake is (as usually with remote areas) far underestimated.
The governor of South East Sulawesi is leading the emergency services and has promised to do all he can to support the people who have damaged houses or got injured.

UPDATE 22:22 UTC : A local Kendari newspaper (Berita Kendari) reports that hundreds of houses are damaged in 10 villages close to the epicenter. We believe this news as it comes from very near the epicenter. 2 people suffered severe injuries.

UPDATE 18:41 UTC : Some reports are also talking about cracks in walls from houses and some government buildings in Kendari.

Village approx. 25 km from the epicenter - Panoramio picture from Origma -

UPDATE 18:38 UTC : 38 houses and a school were heavily damaged in Kolono (South Konawe).

UPDATE 18:20 UTC : People in Kendari reported that aftershocks struck all day long. The governor of  South Sulawesi Mr. Nur Alam told that the epicenter of the quake was in Torobulu in Konawe region.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 10:04 UTC : New local reports are mentioning dozens of houses are heavily damaged in 13 villages of South Konawe. Thousands of people did fled into the hills and many people are reported injured.
One of the villages which suffered the worst damage is Lakomea Village, District Moramo. Some houses did collapse and 4 people were reported injured in this village (2 serious and 2 light). The same village has also reported at least 8 locations where liquefaction occurred.
The people who fled into the hills as they feared a tsunami stayed there for many hours. They self-evacuated as a preparedness action. No tsunami alert was reported by the authorities.
Moramo district is the district above or closest to the epicenter (depending of the epicenter location of the seismological authority)

UPDATE 08:37 UTC : Port activities and shipping conditions have never been disturbed in Kendari or South East Sulawesi where the earthquake occurred. Captains of ferries and other ships remain vigilant for powerful aftershocks however they know that much more energy is needed to generate a tsunami.

UPDATE 08:27 UTC : The 5.2 aftershock had a epicenter closer to Kendari. People fled to the streets and were seeking for higher grounds as the rumor spread that a tsunami was under way.  This happens over and over again in Indonesia (not alone in Indonesia)as the people have not enough information and have to make up their own own mind. At one hand it can be seen as a good way of reacting to a tremor (if you don't have specific information,  a very big earthquake may take place further in the sea).

UPDATE 08:20 UTC : An official at the South Sulawesi earthquake agency said that houses were damaged and people panicked in the greater epicenter area.

UPDATE 08:14 UTC : Kendari City (55 to 75 km from the epicenter)  : NO damage or injuries
As a secondary impact, we know that a woman was hurt when she jumped in panic from the second floor of her house.

UPDATE 01:36 UTC : The numbers remain as they initially have been reported  (from 5.7 to 6.2 magnitude) and from 5 to 18 km depth). Epicenter below a narrow sea channel. More specific reports from the closest locations to the epicenter are needed to find out whether this earthquake will go in the books as damage/injuries free. Let's hope that this earthquake will not be mentioned under our "Important 2011 earthquakes" tab.
We will follow up our different sources and will comer back to you with more details if they become available.

UPDATE 00:59 UTC : An earthquake-Report / westernpacificweather video on this earthquake in collaboration with Robert Speta

UPDATE 00:47 UTC : People felt 4 shocks in only a couple of minutes.

UPDATE 00:46 UTC : Residents of Kendari (USGS estimate of V MMI shaking) felt a strong shaking and fled out of their houses. Kendari is approx. 55 km from the epicenter (local data).

UPDATE 00:36 UTC : 6,814 people are living within a radius of 10 km around the epicenter
51,723 people are living within a radius of 20 km (both above groups are most at risk).
46,2324 people are living within a radius of 50 km
1,224,050 people are living within a radius of 100 km
2,022,270 people are living within a radius of 200 km

UPDATE 00:33 UTC : Airports near the epicenter : Maranggo (179km), Buton / Babau (99km), Raha Sugimanuru (30km), Wolter Monginsidi (71km)

UPDATE 00:26 UTC : Although there was a 6.2 quake in 2000 in the same area, the area is not known as a very active faulting zone.  Some major quakes of 7.7 and 7.5 making approx. 40 shaking deaths each occurred at at least 350 km from the present epicenter

UPDATE 00:21 UTC : GFZ, the German seismological service is reporting a calculated magnitude of 5.8 at a depth of 5 km.
If these numbers are confirmed later on, the "very" dangerous label, would change into "moderately" dangerous

UPDATE 00:14 UTC : Due to the magnitude and the location we do NOT expect any tsunami waves

UPDATE 00:07 UTC : Many aftershocks are rattling the area (the latest 4.8 magnitude at the same 10 km depth)

UPDATE 00:06 UTC : The picture gives a good impression on the way houses are build in the area. Even when these houses are destructed, the collapse will not lead to many victims.

UPDATE 00:00 UTC : EMSC maintains a magnitude of 5.7 at a depth of 10 km.

UPDATE 23:58 UTC : Based on the theoretical estimates, damage may be expected.

UPDATE 23:56 UTC : The Wapmerr theoretical values based on the USGS data are as follows :
ESTIMATE OF HUMAN LOSSES, Injured Exp. min/max: 20/200, Fatalities Exp. min/max: 0/50.
The magnitude by GFZ is 5.8. In that case there would not be casualties. However, with 6.2 some fatalities may be possible. The nearest larger town, Raha, is at a distance of 30 km

UPDATE 23:54 UTC : The biggest cities near the epicenter area are : Napabalano at 25 km , and Wakorumba at  15 km.

UPDATE 23:51 UTC : The epicenter is a couple of km out in the sea near Pulau Muna (Island Muna), Pulau Groot Tobea

UPDATE 23:44 UTC : BMKG, the Indonesian seismologicalk service is reporting a magnitude of 6.0 at a depth of 18 km (slightly better numbers than USGS)

UPDATE 23:42 UTC : Close by locations are : Wakorumba, Napabalano, Koroni, Bangbong, Tampo and Bonea.

UPDATE 23:40 UTC : A similar earthquake occurred in 2000 at a distance of 44 km of the current epicenter and had NO shaking deaths as a result.

UPDATE 23:38 UTC : 115,000 people will experience a VERY STRONG shaking (MMI VII). 254,000 people a STRONG shaking.

UPDATE 23:37 UTC : GDACS published a GREEN earthquake alert for this earthquake = very limited chance on damage and/or injuries. Earthquake-Report does however NOT agree with this positive outcome.

UPDATE 23:35 UTC : Theoretical values of USGS are giving a felt experience of VIII MMI for approx. 16,000 people (severe shaking). If magnitude and depth values are correct, damage may be expected

A very strong shallow earthquake occurred in Sulawesi Indonesia during the morning hours (local time)

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6.2 (6.0 BMKG)
UTC Time : Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 23:07:51 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Monday, April 25, 2011 at 07:07:51 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 9.4 km
Geo-location(s) :
75 km (46 miles) SSE of Kendari, Sulawesi, Indonesia (55 km BMKG)
99 km (61 miles) NNE of Baubau, Sulawesi, 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 historic earthquakes map
USGS Seismic hazard map
USGS Impact on Population map
USGS Shaking map
GDACS GREEN earthquake report

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