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8.7-magnitude Sunda Strait earthquake would not cause tsunami in Jakarta: BMKG

Jakarta would not be hit by a tsunami even if a 8.7-magnitude earthquake was to occur in the Sunda Strait, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has said.

BMKG earthquake and tsunami division head Rahmat Triyono said the prediction was based on models the agency had developed.

“Based on all [models] even a 8.7-magnitude earthquake in the Sunda Strait would not be too significant for Jakarta,” Rahmat said on Thursday, reported.

He said that even if a 8.7-magnitude earthquake occurred in the Sunda Strait, waves off Jakarta’s coast would only be dozens of centimeters high.

However, Jakarta could be hit by a tsunami if an earthquake with a magnitude greater that 8.7 occurred in the Sunda Strait.

Rahmat pointed to an earthquake in Sendai, Japan, in 2011 as an example of an earthquake that defied predictions and was the strongest ever recorded.

“Previously, the strongest earthquake [in Sendai] was recorded at 8.0 on the Richter scale, so a 4 meter sea wall was built for waves 3 m high. But the earthquake [in 2011] measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, breaking the record,” he said.

Rahmat said the BMKG had run models on the Sunda Strait because the Sunda megathrust tectonic plate was located there.

The BMKG has made models for different scenarios based on the possible depth and magnitude of an earthquake.

“We have calculated 18,000 different scenarios […].” Rahmat said. (ami)

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Oleh: The Jakarta Post team

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