Along History of Earthquake in Padang

gambar - picture gempa - earthquake padang by ArjawapostNOT insane society to earthquakes Tasikmalaya, West Java, September 2, 2009, which claimed loss of many lives and property, now we are surprised again by a massive earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra. Earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale centered in the Indian Ocean at a distance of 57 kilometers southwest Pariaman city had very severe damage and killed hundreds of people in the city of Padang and surrounding areas.

Based on the parameters, the earthquake is classified as a subduction earthquake activity occurs in the middle of the lithosphere close to the contact between plate area  Indoaustralia and Eurasia.

Judging from earthquake history  in earthquake zones of West Sumatra, Padang earthquake that happened today is just part of a long history of earthquakes that had been going on since the past. Data history of strong earthquakes and damage in Padang is a reflection of tectonic conditions which are an active seismic area and complex.

Earthquake History

Based on historical records earthquake, West Sumatra had already experienced several destructive earthquakes. From 1822 until 2009, has occurred at least 14 times a strong earthquake occurrence and damage in West Sumatra and the tsunami caused them. Long history of destructive earthquakes in West Sumatra, among others, is the Padang earthquake (1822, 1835, 1981, 1991, 2005), earthquakes Festival (1943), Pasaman earthquake (1977), and earthquakes Agam (2003). Meanwhile, an earthquake followed by tsunami waves in the Mentawai (1861) and Sorry-Sorry (1904).

The oldest records show that in Padang in 1822 has been a strong earthquake followed by a rumbling sound, based in the Talang Mount and Merapi Mount.  Although there are no reports in detail, the note said, the earthquake was reported to cause severe damage and considerable casualties.

On June 28, 1926, 7.8 earthquake on the Richter scale was also reported to have rocked the Padang Panjang. As a result of this earthquake, recorded death toll of more than 354 people. Severe damage occurred around the Sea Festival Bukit Tinggi, Lake Maninjau, Padang Panjang, Solok District, Rice Lunto, and Alahan length. Earthquake aftershocks cause damage in some areas of Lake Festival. Agam District recorded in 472 homes collapsed, 57 people were killed, and 16 people were seriously injured. In Padang Panjang, 2383 houses collapsed and 247 people were killed. The impact of the earthquake also caused a lot of land split, avalanches in Padang Panjang, Kubu Krambil, and Simabur.

Strong earthquake with a magnitude 5.6 on the Richter scale also occurred on February 16, 2004. Vibration of an earthquake was felt in most areas of West Sumatra to the VI MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity), which led to 6 people dead and destroyed hundreds of houses in Tanah Datar.

A few days later, on February 22, 2004, earthquake that shook the greater West Sumatra back to the 6th magnitude on the Richter scale. This earthquake resulted in one dead and several injured people and damaged hundreds of homes in the South Coastal District.

Tectonic West Sumatra

Active seismic conditions and a complex zone of West Sumatra earthquake consists of two generators earthquake. First, generating an earthquake comes from the western region of Sumatra subduction zone plate is potentially a very strong earthquake followed by tsunami possible.

Most hipocenter triggered earthquake activity centered on the plate infiltration waters west of Sumatra. This relates to the meeting of continental plates on the ocean floor. For the region of West Sumatra, the potential for large earthquakes plate instead of the activity in the subduction zone is characterized by the relative magnitude larger.

The second earthquake generators are Sumatran fault zone, or popularly known as Semangko Fault. Semangko Fault is very active faults on land that divides the island of Sumatra in two, stretches along the Bukit Barisan Mountains, from Semangko Bay in the Sunda Strait to the north of Aceh.

Earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale that shocked the community River full on Thursday (1 / 10) which it episentrum approximately 160 kilometers from the city of Padang is the result of an earthquake fault Semangko activity. Apparently, the energy release of major earthquakes in Padang magnitude 7.6 on the Richter scale generated by the impact of plate subduction activity has triggered fault activity on the mainland.

Based on historical data Sumatra earthquake, in the last 100 years, has approximately 20 large and damaging earthquakes occurred in this fault zone. Based on research, earthquake activity in the fault Semangko average of about five years. Although the magnitude earthquakes in a fault zone is relatively small, the impact could be very dangerous. This is due to the source on land adjacent to settlements.

As a highly vulnerable area earthquake, the region of West Sumatra will always be a region frequently rocked by earthquakes. Therefore, we must be more serious in improving natural disaster management system, both in improving earthquake monitoring system, mapping earthquake-prone, develop earthquake mikrozonasi map, plan an earthquake resistant buildings, and public education through the socialization of earthquake hazard mitigation . The fall of many victims of the earthquake was caused by lack of community in the face its understanding of earthquake.


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