Recent Indonesia Quake Added Pressure to Key Fault

By Robin McDowell | April 20, 2012

Seismologists say last week’s powerful earthquake off western Indonesia increased pressure on the source of the devastating 2004 tsunami: a fault that could unleash another monster wave sometime in the next few decades.

Seismologists say last week’s powerful earthquake off western Indonesia increased pressure on the source of the devastating 2004 tsunami: a fault that could unleash another monster wave sometime in the next few decades.

The director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore said “the spring was pushed a little bit tighter” by the 8.6-magnitude quake off the coast of tsunami-ravage Aceh province. He says it may have advanced the timing of the next feared disaster by a few years.

The quake also showed that despite extensive emergency management efforts, Aceh remains unprepared for the next Big One. It caused little damage but even Indonesia’s disaster-management chief says evacuation efforts were “a big mess.”

Associated Press writer Fakrurradzie Gade contributed to this report from Banda Aceh, Indonesia

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