Location of Earthquake NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA Magnitude 7.8 -

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake, reported by SAN FRANCISCO MarketWatch, struck Northern Sumatra, Indonesia early Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake struck 325 miles west of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, according to the USGS, and 880 miles northwest of Indonesian capital Jakarta.

In addition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that a local tsunami watch is in effect for the region.  Three aftershocks occured.  The quake was 46 km deep. 

Tectonic Summary
The Banyak Islands, Sumatra earthquake of April 6, 2010 occurred as a result of thrust faulting on or near the subduction interface plate boundary between the Australia-India and Sunda plates.

At the location of this earthquake, the Australia and India Plates move north-northeast with respect to the Sunda plate at a velocity of approximately 60-65 mm/yr.

On the basis of the currently available fault mechanism information and earthquake depth, it is likely that this earthquake occurred along the plate interface.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 7.8
Date-Time Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at 22:15:02 UTC
Wednesday, April 07, 2010 at 05:15:02 AM at epicenter  
Location 2.236°N, 97.046°E
Depth 46 km (28.6 miles)
Distances 205 km (125 miles) WNW of Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia
230 km (145 miles) SW of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia
525 km (325 miles) W of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
1425 km (880 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.4 km (4.6 miles); depth +/- 11.6 km (7.2 miles)
Parameters NST= 58, Nph= 63, Dmin=330.6 km, Rmss=0.81 sec, Gp= 58°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
Event ID us2010utc5 

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•Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 23:19:31 (UTC) – Coordinated Universal Time
Detailed information on thousands of mining companies, mineral properties
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Rescue workers search for victims and survivors after an apartment complex collapsed during an earthquake in Concepcion some 100 km (62 miles) south of the epicenter, February 27, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Jose Luis Saavedra. Image may be subject to copyright.

The Haiti megaquake was the fifth-largest seismic event since 1900.   Chile was also the scene of the largest earthquake in the world  which measured 9.5Mw, which killed  1,655 people and injure 3,000 others, leaving about 2,000,000 homeless.

Scientists warned Haiti officials of quake in 2008
Conclusions lacked specific timeframe that could have prodded quick action
By Rick Callahan Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS – Scientists who detected worrisome signs of growing stresses in the fault that unleashed this week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti said they warned officials there two years ago that their country was ripe for a major earthquake.

Their sobering findings, presented during a geological conference in March 2008 and at meetings two months later, showed that the fault was capable of causing a 7.2-magnitude earthquake — slightly stronger than Tuesday’s 7.0 quake that rocked the impoverished country.

Though Haitian officials listened intently to the research, the nearly two years between the presentation and the devastating quake was not enough time for Haiti to have done much to have prevented the massive destruction.

Haiti warned to brace for another big quake | Reuters

(Reuters) – Haiti should be preparing for another major earthquake that could be triggered by the catastrophic one last month which killed up to 200,000 people and left the capital Port-au-Prince in ruins, experts say.

Teams of geophysicists, who have been tracking movements in the fault line that slashes across Haiti and into the Dominican Republic, came to the nation last week to measure changes in the Earth’s crust after the 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12.

Increased pressure on the fault after the quake could unleash another of the same size or bigger, although scientists acknowledge they have no way of knowing exactly when or where it will hit.

“Faults are always waiting for the right moment but if another earthquake gives them a little kick they go before their time,” said Eric Calais, a professor of geophysics from Purdue University in Indiana, who is leading the seismology project in Haiti.

Preliminary calculations by his group show the January 12 quake could be the “little kick” that sets off another temblor along the 186 mile fault where two regional tectonic plates have been scraping together for millions of years.

More than 50 aftershocks, including one measuring 5.9 magnitude, have shaken Port-au-Prince after last month’s quake. The U.S. Geological Survey says the aftershock sequence will continue for months, “if not years”, and “damaging earthquakes will remain possible in the coming months”

Earthquake Hazzard Map of Australia showing "major" faultlines


Coober Pedy Regional Times – September 26, 2008

In September 2008 – Geoscientists identify seismic activity in Southern Australia including the  Flinders Ranges

Australia is not as geologically stable as many think. Despite popular belief, Australia is a geologically active continent with moving fault-lines, regular seismic activity, and a long history of mountain making, said internationally respected geologist, Associate Professor Malcolm Wallace from the School of Earth Sciences….

“Two separate geological studies have concluded that an area from Adelaide to south-east Victoria is seismically active and the next ‘big one’ could endanger lives and infrastructure

“Some faults around Adelaide have moved slabs of the continent up to 30 metres in the last one million years,” says ARC Professorial Fellow, Mike Sandiford.

“When these big quakes reoccur, they have the potential to cause catastrophic damage to cities such as Melbourne, Adelaide, and the La Trobe Valley area, which straddle some of these major faults lines,” says Professor Mike Sandiford also from the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne….continued