Public Discussion on 11 April 2012 Earthquake

Banda Aceh. TDMRC. Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC) – Syiah Kuala University conducted a Public Discussion on 11 April 2012 Earthquake, Tuesday (17/4), in TDMRC Building, Ulee Lheue, Banda Aceh.

The discussion is part of TDMRC’s activities in socializing about what had happened exactly, in the day afternoon of 11 April.

Two speakers from TDMRC spoke at the event, they are Ibnu Rusydy, M.Sc., a young geologist in TDMRC, who talked about earthquake mechanism, and Dr. Eng. Syamsidik, a tsunami scientist and Head of Applied Research TDMRC, who talked about tsunami mechanism.
In his presentation, Ibnu Rusydy, explain about basic knowledge on earthquake, quake-zones in Sumatera as well as 11 April’s earthquake mechanism.

According to him, the shocked earthquake that caused mass panic in some coastal regions in western Sumatera was occured in strike-slip fault called Investigator Fracture Zone (IFZ) at Indo-Australian Plate. Since it was occured in a strike-slip fault, there was no tsunami triggered because there was no vertical dislocation of water in sea bed.

“In spite of small tsunami spawned and attacked some regions around the zone, but the height was not too significant and therefore not dangerous.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Eng. Syamsidik, said that the potential tsunami did not stop in the 2004. There are two big tsunami threats are stalking us, i.e. in western Simeulue if there is a great quake with more than 7 SR in scale and in northern Simeulue if there is a great quake with more than 8 SR in scale.

He further explained that today there are four tsunami early warning device (buoy) around Indian-Ocean, two units in Phuket and Bengali point those owned by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) USA, one unit in around Rondo Island owned by Malaysia, and one unit around Simeulu Island owned by Indonesia and run by BPPT and BMKG.

“Unfortunately, only the buoy owned by NOAA that are freely available to access making it easier for researchers to create tsunami propagation scenarios. But, it is such having no role if a big quake occur in the two predicted regions since the position of both device are far from the location. Consequently, it is feared that the tsunami will first reach the western coastline of Sumater before it is recorded in NOAA’s bouys.” He explained.

The half-day discussion which was attended by about 80 participants delivered some recommendations, i.e.: (1) An evaluation toward the existing SOP’s of Tsunami Early Warning System comprehensively and cross-sectoral, strengthen and improve the systems as well as increase the number of TEWS along the west coast of Aceh; (2) Encourage sustainable DRR activities to the entire communities in Aceh, such as earthquake drill, tsunami drill, etc.; (3) Public and government buildings should be an alternative as escape building, beside widening the main streets as evacuation route; (4) Conduct an evaluation and technical investigation on the reservoir “Waduk Keliling” which may cause “tsunami from land” as well as issue a formal statement about its safety to the quake threat; and (5) TDMRC need to conduct sustainable researchs about earth and attempt to find funding resources from local government, central government, and other related institutes or organizations. (hsp – nn)