Jakarta (Nias Online) – Scientists are not able to determine the exact time (hour, date, and year) when an eartquake will strike a certain region. Such a prediction is false and will never come from credibel experts in the field. This statement comes from two leading earthquake experts Prof. Kerry Edward Sieh and Dr. Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, M. Sc.

Scientific research does not allow us to predict whether an earthquake will happen in Sumatra on a specific day, month, or year.” said Prof Sieh and Dr. Natawidjaja in a joint statement received by Nias Online, Monday (15/11/2010).

As reported by Nias Online earlier, Nias inhabitants, in particular those living in South Nias have been overwhelmed by rumours of imminent large eartquake that will jolt the region. The rumour even predicted that the earthquake will strike at any time between 10 – 20 November 2010 resulting in some people fleeing their homes and stocking basic household needs in large amount.

The statement from these two scientists strongly discredits such rumours.

Any such predictions are fake and do not come from reputable scientists”, they said.

Profesor Kerry Sieh is the Director of the Earth Observatory of SingaporeNanyang Technological University in Singapore, whilst Dr. Danny Hilman Natawijaya, M. Sc. is a geologist from Research Center for Geotechnology, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in Bandung. Both scientists are actively involved in the research on earthquake activities along the west coast of Sumatra.

However, they hinted that in the coming decades a great earthquake and the resulting tsunami will hit the region of western cost of Sumatera and islands nearby.

Our research does show that a great earthquake and its tsunami are very likely sometime in the next few decades in the area between the Batu and Pagai Islands and along the neighbouring mainland West Sumatran coast. However, we cannot say exactly when within the next few decades this might occur. “ they explained in the joint statement.

This means that young people living in this region today are very likely to experience this great earthquake and its tsunami within their lifetimes. There are many actions that can be taken in the time between now and then to lessen the loss of life, livelihood and property.”, the joint statement concluded.

Pictures: Kompas.com dan Nanyang Technological University website – ntu.edu.sg (EH/EN/*)

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