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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

NY Times: Scientists Expect More Quakes and Tsunamis in Sumatra Region

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Scientists Expect More Quakes and Tsunamis in Sumatra Region

Excerpt - The violent thrust of the seabed near Sumatra that touched off catastrophic tsunamis in December created significant new risks of earthquakes and tsunamis there, seismologists are reporting in the journal Nature.

The researchers say that the place at greatest risk from a new earthquake is the devastated city of Banda Aceh and that the tsunami risk lies along Sumatra's heavily populated southern coasts. But they added that any fresh tremors or waves would be unlikely to have anywhere near the destructive power of the December earthquake, the world's second most powerful seismic shock in 100 years.

Still, the researchers, from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, said that the new threat added urgency to efforts to extend the world's only existing tsunami-warning network, in the Pacific, to include the Indian Ocean.

They said they could not predict when the next shocks might occur, but noted that in similar geological settings, in Turkey and Japan, big quakes have set off tremors in adjacent faults in a few months to a few years.

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