Major overseas earthquake - West Coast of Sumatra, Indonesia

02 November 2002

A major earthquake measuring 7.7 occurred about 200km offshore from the town of Padang on the west coast of Sumatra at 12:26 pm Australian Eastern Summer Time today.

Following an earthquake of this size, there is the potential for damage up to 200km away, so there could be some damage around Padang.

Initial estimates have the earthquake about 60km deep. This event could have been felt within a radius of 1000km, as far away as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

An event this size also has the potential to cause a tsunami. Any tsunami would have occurred on the south coast of Sumatra within 30 minutes of the event.

A shallow earthquake of this magnitude would cause complete destruction within a 50km radius if it occurred on land.

Call the Geoscience Australia Duty Seismologist, Dr Mark Leonard, on 0407 216 622 for further information or interview.

Earthquake details and a location map will appear at

An alternative is the Media Hotline on Freecall 1800 882 035.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013