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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Quake part of domino effect

Herald Sun: [29mar05]:A HUGE earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra was part of a domino effect from the devastating Boxing Day quake, a seismologist said today.

Professor John McCloskey, from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, said he had predicted today's earthquake two weeks ago.
He said the Boxing Day quake, which registered 9.0 on the Richter scale, and today's which measured at least 8.5, occurred on a geological subduction line which is 5000km long.

"Unfortunately, I'm not at all surprised by today's news," he said on ABC radio.

"I'm not saying that this domino effect will move the whole way around, but the parts of the fault which haven't broken yet will experience some stress as a result of what happened.

"It's too early yet to say what the effect will be.

"But the next part of the line will certainly experience some stress as a result of this."

Professor McCloskey's research looked at geological distortions created by the Boxing Day quake, which triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed almost 300,000 lives.

"If you have a block of rubber on the table and you push your thumb into it, it isn't only the surface of that block that is deformed, the deformation has spread throughout the block of rubber," he said.

"The earth's crust, in many ways, is (like that) and the earthquake could just (create) very large displacements inside that - the earth's crust.

"That causes forces that are distributed throughout the volume."

He said his team was able to calculate those forces and measure how much more likely or less likely earthquakes were on other faults in the area.

"One of the faults we looked at was in the trans-subduction zones.

"It seems, from the information I have at the minute, that that was the one that has failed today."

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