Indonesia massive M 7.7 Earthquake and Tsunami – latest news (2)

Pasapuat Village, North Pagai, Mentawai Islands - Click on the picture to go to the Vivanews article

As our initial “latest news” article was getting too long, and as this event will certainly continue to add more news, we have decided to start another “latest news 2” article. Besides the most important earthquake data, also breaking news will be posted here.

This update page will put breaking news on the Indonesia Mentawai Islands earthquake whenever it becomes available.
The most recent news will be on top of this page. has been continuously publishing breaking news on this Earthquake / Tsunami starting minutes after the earthquake occurred. Read the “Latest News 1” article by clicking here.

October 27 – 16:38 UTC UPDATE
First VIDEO footage of the Mentawai islands.
This site gives a number of videos on the Tsunami on the Mentawai – Pagai islands

Click on the picture to go to the Metronews site

October 27 – 15:54 UTC UPDATE
Excerpt from an article of Antara news
Only some of the dead bodies have been buried by their families.
Around 20 bodies were seen being buried after a SAR (Search and rescue) team discovered them on Wednesday.
He said the burial took place in a simple ceremony at a family cemetary.
More bodies were not yet buried or even evacuated as the SAR team was not big enough.
A lot of bodies at swamps were not yet evacuated.
77 people had been seriously injured.

October 27 – 15:30 UTC UPDATE
Excerpt from an article in the JakartaGlobe
The toll from a tsunami which smashed into Indonesia rose sharply past 270 on Wednesday as rescuers reached the remote islands hit hardest by the disaster and found scenes of devastation.
At least 10 villages were flattened when the tsunami triggered by a 7.7-magnitude offshore earthquake pounded the Mentawai islands late Monday off the west coast of Sumatra.
We’ve recovered 272 bodies. At least 412 people are still missing,” West Sumatra provincial disaster management official Ade Edward told AFP.
Survivors said they had no warning that the three-metre (10-foot) wave was bearing down on the Mentawais, a popular destination for foreign surfers but otherwise a poor and neglected outpost in the vast Indonesian archipelago.
Borinte, 32, a farmer from Detumonga village on the coast of North Pagai island, said he managed to stay alive by clasping to a piece of wood. His wife and three children were killed.
“About 10 minutes after the quake we heard a loud, thunderous sound. We went outside and saw the wave coming. We tried to run away to higher ground but the wave was much quicker than us,” he told AFP.

October 27 – 14:14 UTC UPDATE
The Mentawai – Pagai islands earthquake number of victims will normally be higher than 500, predicts.
The first 24 to 36 hours one could have hoped that people would have fled into the jungle to be safe for other tsunamis, but after 2 days this hope is fading away every hour that passes.
Those counted as missing will probably have been swallowed by the sea or would have been ejected into the jungle.
When an earthquake hits a big city, people can run to all directions and authorities will need many days to determine who is missing and who is showing up.
In this case the situation is completely different. Most of the villages on the Pagai islands are small to very small and people know each other. fears that missing people in this case means more victims. We truly hope that we are totally wrong, but we fear for the worst scenario.

October 27 – 13:57 UTC UPDATE
Reuters just reported that the death toll from Monday’s tsunami that struck remote islands in Indonesia’s Sumatra province has risen to at least 282 people, and another 411 are still missing.

October 27 – 13:35 UTC UPDATE
Unfortunately we have not yet seen any video footage on the October 25 Mentawai / Pagai tsunami or the damage on the scene.
More than 2 days after the tsunami struck, the available information is very limited.
Although the Mentawai islands were at high risk during recent years, none or very limited precaution measures were present in North and South Pagai.
2 massive earthquakes, a Magnitude 8.5 on September 12 2007 (see detailed report) claiming the lives of 25 people , and a Magnitude 7.5  on September 30, 2009 where 1,117 people were killed, should have been  a warning that more heavy tremors might be possible.
We were able to find 2 good video’s in ‘you tube’ about both events. Click here for the article

October 27 – 10:02 UTC UPDATE
, a well informed local news source in Indonesia, is reporting that number of confirmed casualties reaches more than 200. They changed their records  after they had a phone call with Mr. Joskamatir, Chairman of the Disaster Management Agency of  the Pagai Islands.
Other information of the 10:02 update from VIVAnews is still correct.

October 27 – 11:41 UTC UPDATE
Navy ships packed with medicine and food and rescuers in helicopters headed on Wednesday to remote Indonesian islands that were pounded by a 10-foot tsunami, sweeping away villages and killing at least 154 people.
Rough seas and bad weather (… ER) have hampered relief operations, leaving villagers to fend for themselves for nearly two days. With not enough people to dig graves, corpses littered beaches and roads, according to district chief, Edison Salelo Baja. Fisherman were scouring waters in search of survivors.
The fault line that ruptured Monday on Sumatra island’s coast also caused the 2004 quake and monster Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
Read the full article in JakartaGlobe

October 27 – 10:02 UTC UPDATE
, a well informed local news source in Indonesia just published new information on the Mentawai / Pagai tsunami.
Although there are conflicting numbers depending on the source, the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) just reported 166 people confirmed killed by the tsunamis.
Hamlet Munte village had a dead toll of 58 people so far.
Dusun Malakopak claimed 56 lives.
Other villages which have been hard hit by the tsunami were Dusun Silabu, Munte Baru Baru, Malakopak and Betumonga.
70 injured people are currently hospitalized in Sikupap.
Aid teams made a plea for urgent additional help and medicines.
Injured people are currently treated with primitive means in makeshift camps as most of their wooden and bamboo houses are destroyed.
Bodies are net yet buried and have temporarily been covered for further action.
This is the most complete report we could read so far.

October 27 – 07:46 UTC UPDATE
Xinhua news reports that the dead toll has gone up to 152 people confirmed killed by the Tsunami and 400 still missing.  15 people were reported as seriously injured.
SAR teams have reported that 3 elementary schools, one junior high school, five worship houses and five bridges as well as 291 houses were destroyed. This is only a temporary report.

October 27 – 07:46 UTC UPDATE
Statement by President Obama on the Indonesian tsunami
Michele and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injuries, and damage that have occurred as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami in West Sumatra. At the same time, I am heartened and encouraged by the remarkable resiliency of the Indonesian people and the commitment of their Government to rapidly assist the victims. As a friend of Indonesia, the United States stands ready to help in any way. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with the Indonesian people and all those affected by this tragedy.
White House statement webpage

October 27 – 07:46 UTC UPDATE
Indonesian Vice President Boediono on Wednesday urged for priority on tsunami refugees in Mentawai Islands of West Sumatera province, detikcom online news reported.
West Sumatra is really prone area of earthquake as a year ago the same incident struck the province.
Therefore, it needs a very concrete alertness, he said, adding that the refugees must be handled first.
Source : Xinhua

Click on the picture to read the Jakarta Post

October 27 – 05:46 UTC UPDATE
First pictures of totally devastated villages are appearing in Jakarta Post.
It took almost 2 days before Indonesian Search and Rescue workers reached the Pagai Islands (which Earthquake Report does not understand !).
The vast devastation of some shore villages is now confirmed with the first aerial pictures coming out.
On the picture a Flattened village: The Jakarta Post photo shows a village flattened by Monday’s earthquake triggered tsunami on Pagai island, West Sumatra, on Wednesday. Rescuers battled rough seas Tuesday to reach remote Indonesian islands pounded by the three-meter tsunami that swept away homes, and killed dozens of people.

October 27 – 00:54 UTC UPDATE
After Monday’s quake and tsunami, many panicked residents fled to high ground and were too afraid to return home.
That could account in part for the more than 500 people still missing, said Hendri Dori, a local lawmaker, adding: “We’re trying to stay hopeful.”
Hundreds of wooden and bamboo homes were washed away on the island of Pagai, with water flooding crops and roads up to 600 yards (meters) inland. In Muntei Baru, a village on Silabu island, 80 percent of the houses were badly damaged.
With few relief workers able to get to the hardest-hit islands – reachable only by a 12-hour boat ride – fishermen searched for the living and dead. Corpses lay unburied because there was not enough outside help to dig graves, according to the Mentawai district chief, Edison Salelo Baja.
Excerpt of an article in the Jakarta Post – Read the full article

October 27 – 00:22 UTC UPDATE
Aftershocks continue to rattle the greater Pagai Islands area.
Aftershock east of Pulau Sipura, another Mentawai island. This is the first time since the major shock that the epicenter was that far north. Other major +6 quakes are possible because of the major movement of the plates. has been continuously publishing breaking news on this Earthquake / Tsunami starting minutes after the earthquake occurred. Read the Latest News 1 article by clicking here.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 7.5
Monday, October 25, 2010 at 09:42:25 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 33 km
Geo-location(s) :
240 km (149 miles) S (184°) from Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
Near the shores of the island of Pagai (part of the Mentawai Islands)

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS Shaking map
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS Pager map
GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)
GDACS Green Tsunami alert
Nearest LIVE seismograph in Papua New Guinea

* GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System) provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world. GDACS is a Joint Initiative of the United Nations and the European Commission

QuakeSOS has been developed to help actively people who are caught in an earthquake + delivers "Earthquake Report" information on your iPhoneQuakeSOS is a FREE iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck, the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with “Earthquake Report” news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS will be your closest earthquake friend.

Indonesia massive M 7.5 earthquake – USGS increases Magnitude to 7.7!

USGS has increased the Magnitude of the earthquake to M 7.7.

This makes this (shallow) earthquake one of the most powerful that occurred this year and even more powerful than the Haiti and the China earthquakes, both with huge numbers of casualties. Contrary to what most agencies are reporting at the moment, this earthquake will have shock-waves from at least VII MMI (very strong shaking).

Luckily the epicenter of the quake has been confirmed about 30 km out of the coast of southern Pangai.

Local Indonesian Sumatra press has still no news from the Pagai islands. They indicate that the mainland did not experience a big earthquake which was previsioned from the beginning by the seismology agencies.
We guess that it will take another 8 to 12 hours before mainland can make more inspections during daylight.

Follow our extensive reporting of this major earthquake on the main ‘latest news page’

Huge Tsunami preparedness exercise in New Zealand today

tsunami sign

Image by bookish in north park via Flickr

On the exception of Canterbury, because of the recent traumatic earthquake,  New Zealand’s will test it’s ability to respond to a massive tsunami on Wednesday.

More than 100 agencies nationwide will take part in the exercise.
New Zealand will test the new updated national tsunami advisory and warning plan.

The revised plan makes use of new scientific modeling from GNS Science that allows for distinct threat warnings to be issued for 43 coastal zones.

“It is a good example of how science can help response to an emergency,” he added.

Exercise Tangaroa, named for the god of the sea, rivers, lakes and all life within them, will begin with a simulated Pacific Tsunami Warning Center alert that a major tsunami may have been created by an earthquake off the coast of South America.

National warnings, clearly labeled as simulation messages, will be issued by the Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management to the National Crisis Management Center and agencies throughout the country.

Participants include all 16 regional civil defense emergency management groups, most local authorities, central government departments, emergency services, scientific agencies, welfare organizations, utilities, the transport sector and some media.

Read more here

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