Indonesia Earthquakes 2009: News, Photos, & Videos

As the world's fourth most populous nation, Indonesia consists of about 13,000 islands and sits astride the notorious Ring of Fire. This volatile network of volcanic arcs and oceanic trenches nearly encircles the Pacific Ocean and is where 90 percent of the world's earthquakes occur. Sumatra, bisected by the equator, contains a western coast that is stippled with dozens of active volcanoes and just offshore of it lies the seismically active Sunda Trench.¹

The devastating 7.6M southern Sumatra earthquake of September 30, 2009 occurred as a result of oblique-thrust faulting near the subduction interface plate boundary between the Australian and Sunda plates. This megathrust earthquake event - 8.5M or larger - last occured in 1797.² The second event, a 6.6M earthquake, was a result of shallow strike-slip faulting within the Sunda Plate. The earthquake was 270 km southeast of the previous day's event offshore Padang.³

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