Tsunamis and Earthquakes

On the early morning of Thursday 30/12/21, at 01:25 WIB, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 SR shook Maluku. Based on BMKG the earthquake was located in 7.76 south latitude, 127.66 east longitude or 45 km northwest Maluku. The earthquake with 210 km depth did not have the potential for tsunami although there were aftershocks at 03.32 WIB with magnitude 5.1 SR. The other earthquake was also reported in Sukabumi, West Java. The earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1 SR with depth 21 km also did not have the potential for tsunami. As an archipelago country and the confluence of three continental plates, the earthquake potentially occurred in Indonesia. Although there were many earthquakes that have been recorded, not all of them have the potential to become tsunamis. So, what type of earthquake can potentially become tsunamis?

Based on BMKG Denpasar, the word tsunami comes from the Japanese language, with “Tsu” meaning harbor, and “nami” meaning wave. In a literal sense, a tsunami is a big wave in harbors that occur after an earthquake, sea quake, volcanic eruption, or impact of meteors in the sea.

There are some earthquakes that have the potential to become tsunamis based on BMKG:

– The earthquakes that centered in the middle of the sea and have depth < 100 Km

– The earthquakes with a magnitude more than 7.0 on the Richter Scale

– The earthquakes with an ascending or descending fault pattern

As a big country and have a coastline length 54,716 km, almost 30,963 km or 57% of Indonesia island have a high potential to be affected by a tsunami. So, the Indonesia people must be aware of this disaster.

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