Mentawai Fault activities likely set off Agam's earthquake: BMKG

Mentawai Fault activities likely set off Agam's earthquake: BMKG

Students covered their heads with bags in a simulation of an earthquake in Agam District, West Sumatra. (ANTARA Sumbar/Yusrizal)

Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA) - A mapping conducted by the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) indicated that the 4.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Agam District, West Sumatra, Friday morning, was triggered by a cluster of activities at the Mentawai Fault.

"If we observe this shallow earthquake's hypocenter location, it strongly suggests the Mentawai Fault activities," Head of the Padang Panjang Geophysics Agency Irwan Slamet noted in a press statement received by ANTARA here on Friday.

The BMKG reported that the epicenter of the earthquake that struck the resort island at 6:51 a.m. local time was located some 31 kilometers (km) away from southwest of Pariaman at a depth of 11 km.

Slamet remarked that the residents of Agam District reportedly experienced strong-intensity tremors that were also felt by the residents of the cities of Pariaman, Padangpanjang, and Padang, and the district of Pasaman Barat.

Fadli, 28, residing in Padang City, admitted to him being shaken by the tremor while heading to work, but it ended briefly. Padang, West Sumatra Province's capital city, was devastated by a deadly earthquake in 2009.

A total of 1,117 people died, while almost three thousand residents suffered injuries following the earthquake that shook Padang City and numerous areas of West Sumatra on September 30, 2009. The disaster also ravaged over 260 thousand houses.

Earthquakes frequently hit different parts of Indonesia owing to its location on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also termed the Ring of Fire, the location where several tectonic plates mash and collide and are causal to recurrent volcanic and seismic activities.

BMKG Head Dwikorita Karnawati pointed out that Indonesia was rocked by 11,577 earthquakes, including several causing grave casualties, during 2018, with the figure showing a marked rise than that in 2017.

According to the BMKG data, 11,577 earthquakes of differing magnitudes and depths had struck in 2018, while merely 7,172 earthquakes were recorded in 2017, thereby indicating that Indonesia had experienced a notable rise in the number of tectonic earthquakes last year, Karnawati stated.

The agency recorded that most occurrences constituted earthquakes of below five magnitudes, while those of over five magnitudes were recorded at 297 instances, she revealed.