Kali ini issuenya diluncurkan dari Aljazeera. Kerry Siehpun diangkut
untuk membuat issue ini lebih membahana. Akhir Desember merupakan hari
peringatan gempa-tsunami Aceh yang terjadi ditahun 2004. Namun gempa
besar serta tsunami global itu bukan satu-satunya yang terjadi, ada
gempa berikutnyapun masih ditunggu-tunggu ... Tidak ada yang berani
membenarkan maupun menyangggahnya. Tapi yang pasti akan meresahkan.
Tantangan berat untuk geoscientist dan ahli gempa di Indonesia.

"Waspada is your early warning"


Large quake 'likely' in Sumatra
A quake-triggered tsunami caused untold loss of life and property in
Aceh in late 2004 [GALLO/GETTY]

A team of US researchers have warned that the Indonesian island of
Sumatra is likely to be hit by an earthquake of catastrophic
proportions within a few decades.

The disaster could be on a scale similar to the magnitude 9.1 undersea
earthquake that struck off northern Sumatra in late 2004, triggering a
giant tsunami across the Indian Ocean and killing 230,000 people
across Asia, the scientists said.

More than 170,000 of those victims were in Aceh on the northwestern
tip of Sumatra.

The prediction came as a 5.8 magnitude undersea quake struck off
northern Sulawesi in the country's east on Friday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage.

The region, which sits on one of the world's most geologically-active
tectonic plates known as the Pacific "ring of fire", is prone to

The team of scientists led by Kerry Sieh, of the California Institute
of Technology, in reporting their findings in Friday's edition of the
journal Science, said the next great quake and tsunami in Sumatra were
likely to occur "within the lifetimes of children and young adults
living there now".

"We can expect one or more very large west Sumatran earthquakes within
the next two decades"

Kerry Sieh, California Institute of Technology
Sieh, who is the director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore, a
part of the US research team, told Al Jazeera that corals off the
Sumatran coast showed a major earthquake had happened every 200 years
since 1300.

"When earthquakes push the seafloor upward, lowering local sea level,
the corals can't grow upward and grow outward instead," he said.

"If previous cycles are a reliable guide we can expect one or more
very large west Sumatran earthquakes ... within the next two decades."

Sieh said while Thailand and Sri Lanka were unlikely to be affected,
people in Sumatra should be prepared.

He also said that Indonesia and the region will be more prepared to
face future earthquakes, although it will be difficult to limit
casualties and other fallout from the disaster.

"If you have a forecast of 10 to 20 years, you can strengthen
buildings, conduct public awareness and educational programmes for
rapid evacuation," he said.

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