The ESRF registers the earthquake in Asia

07-01-2005

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The earthquake that took place in Asia on the 26 December was registered at the ESRF, despite the 11000 kilometres distance between Grenoble and the epicentre. The earthquake measured 9 on the Richter scale and was 10 kilometres deep.

 

C16 sumatra

On Sunday morning, prior to the earthquake, the seismic vibration level on site was very low as there was little traffic or industrial activity nearby. Displacement levels of about 0.2 µm peak to peak (Bandwidth 1-->100Hz) were measured. At 01:11:55 UTC the compressional P waves reached the ESRF site nearly 13 minutes after the earthquake took place. The 8.9 magnitude event was powerful enough to produce vibration levels in excess of 12 µm on the floor. In fact, close to the epicentre, the movements are estimated to be in the range of ten meters or more with the fault being about 400 km long.

Although the earthquake was felt widely in Sumatra and also in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand, most of the victims and damage were caused by tsunamis and not by direct seismic activity. This is the largest earthquake since the 1964 Prince William Sound earthquake in Alaska.