11 Apr 2012

Expert comment: Earthquake and tsunami warning in sea off Indonesia's northern Aceh province

Dr David Rothery, The Open University

Dr David Rothery, The Open University

Dr David Rothery, a Geologist from The Open University, said:

“Today’s M8.7 quake in the Indian Ocean offshore of Sumatra has the potential to cause a tsunami that could cause devastation to coasts all around the Indian ocean.

"A tsunami warning from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre predicts tsunami wave arrival at Banda Aceh (Sumatra) 10:31 BST, and Sri Lanka between 11.30 and 12.30 BST.

“A tsunami detection buoy (a DART station) in the Bay of Bengal detected a wave with an amplitude of 30cm in deep water, which has the potential to become several times higher as it approaches the shore.

“Today’s quake was probably about ten times less energetic than the M9.1 quake that caused the 26 Dec 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.”

Dr David Rothery is a Geologist from The Open University and runs the OU’s Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis course.

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