Southern Sumatra struck by large earthquake

13 September 2007

A magnitude 8.4 earthquake occurred offshore Southern Sumatra, Indonesia at 9:10pm EST this evening, calling for a tsunami warning to be issued for the Indian Ocean.

The epicentre was 130km off the coast of the Sumatran city of Bengkulu, and was felt as far east as Jakarta, over 600km away.

"For an earthquake this size you could expect significant damage up to 500km from the epicentre," said Senior Seismologist Dr Phil Cummins.

"This earthquake occurred as a result of the Australian tectonic plate being pushed beneath Indonesia," he said.

"Although large earthquakes are not uncommon for the Sumatran region, this event occurred on a part of the plate boundary that has not ruptured since the early 1900's," said Dr Cummins.

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