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Prepare to be Shaken

Leading Geologist Warns that Java, Bali, and NTT Prone to 9+ Earthquake and Tsunami

(8/7/2017) A leading research geologist from Brigham Young University, Professor Ron Harris, says the earthquake and tsunami of 2004 that devastated Aceh, North Sumatra could potentially occur on the Island of Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara.

As reported by The State News Agency Antara, Professor Harris in 2016 undertook studies of soil sedimentation in Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara that revealed historical cycles of earthquakes and tsunamis over past centuries.

Speaking at a seminar on disaster mitigation in Jakarta, Harris said the historical record can also outline and to some extent predict coming geological events.

The Geologist said that Indonesia is currently experiencing a “sleeping phase” for earthquakes and tsunamis that will inevitably awaken with a period of increased seismic activity. He said the current “sleeping phase” means that the Indo-Australian and Eurasian plates are “locked” as pressure builds that must eventually result in earthquakes and potential tsunamis.

Harris warned that the pressure points now being built have a strong potential to create massive earthquakes above 9 on the Richter scale. Adding: “The potential is sufficient to produce earthquakes of 9.1 on the Richter scale, or even 9.2, moreover 9.5.”

He said the coming strong quake will shake for as long as 20 seconds and could produce tsunamis that are 20 meters high traveling at a speed of 620 kilometers per hour reaching shorelines in as little as 20 minutes.

“Earthquakes in Indonesia are unique because the epicenters are close to land,” said Harris.

Harris summarized he threat with the term “20-20-20” meaning 20 seconds in duration, 20 minutes for a tsunami to travel to shore, and tsunami’s that are 20 meters high. He advised people living in these areas to designate areas that are 20 meters above sea level that can be reached in 20 minutes in the event of an impending tsunami foloowing an earthquake.

When the earthquakes will occur cannot be predicted. But Harris said the following areas were in the gravest danger of a massive earthquake and tsunami event: Pangandaran, Pelabuhan Ratu, Pacitan, Banyuwangi, Madura, Denpasar and Nusa Dua Bali, Lombok and Sumba NTB, Waingapu and the shoreline of Timor NTT.