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Earthquake Hazards Program

News Release

Monday, March 28, 2005 at 16:09:36 UTC

Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver

The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: A great earthquake occurred NEAR THE COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA about 205 km (125 miles) west northwest of Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia or about 1410 km (880 miles northwest of Jakarta, Java, Indonesia at 9:09 AM MST, Mar 28, 2005 (11:09 PM local time in Indonesia). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. Earthquakes of this type sometimes cause tsunamis, however the USGS has no information that an actual tsunami has been generated. For information about tsunamis, contact the NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers at

At least 1000 people killed, 300 injured and 300 buildings destroyed on Nias; 100 people killed, many injured and several buildings damaged on Simeulue; 200 people killed in Kepulauan Banyak; 3 people killed, 40 injured and some damage in the Meulaboh area, Sumatra. A 3-meter tsunami damaged the port and airport on Simeulue. Tsunami runup heights as high as 2 meters were observed on the west coast of Nias and 1 meter at Singkil and Meulaboh, Sumatra. Felt (VI) at Banda Aceh and (V) at Medan. At least 10 people were killed during evacuation of the coast of Sri Lanka. Felt (IV) along the west coast of Malaysia; (IV) at Bangkok and (III) at Phuket, Thailand; (III) at Singapore; (III) at Male, Maldives. The quake was also felt in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India and in Sri Lanka. Tsunami wave heights (peak to trough) recorded from selected tide stations: about 40 cm on Panjang, Indonesia; about 25 cm at Colombo, Sri Lanka; 40 cm on Hanimadu, 18 cm at Male and 10 cm at Gan, Maldives. Initial observations indicate about 1 meter of subsidence on the coast of Kepulauan Banyak as well as 1 meter of uplift on the coast of Simeulue. Seiches were observed on ponds in West Bengal, India.


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