Girish Mahajan (Editor)

2000 Enggano earthquake

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Origin time  16:28:28 UTC
Depth  35 km (22 mi)
Max. intensity  VI (Strong)
Date  4 June 2000
Magnitude  7.9 Mw
Areas affected  Indonesia
Aftershocks  6.7 Mw June 4 at 14:39
Number of casualties  103
2000 Enggano earthquake
Similar  1938 Banda Sea earthquake, March 2007 Sumatra, 2009 Papua earthquakes, 2016 Sumatra earthquake, 1992 Flores earthquake

The 2000 Enggano earthquake struck at 23:28 local time on June 4 with a moment magnitude of 7.9 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VI (Strong). The event occurred off the coast of southern Sumatra, Indonesia near Enggano Island. There were more than 100 fatalities and up to 2,585 injuries. Over 730 aftershocks shocked the area afterwards, one just eleven minutes after the mainshock.


This was the first and southernmost in a series of very large to great Sumatran earthquakes in the 2000s to rupture almost the entire western part of the Sunda megathrust, most notably including the 9.1-9.3 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, but also the 8.7 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake, and the 7.9–8.4 September 2007 Sumatra earthquakes.

Background and tectonics

Indonesia is well known for strong earthquakes: the 2000 Enggano event marked the beginning of an ongoing period of seismic activity in the area, highlighted by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The 2000 Enggano earthquake took place at the southeastern end of the fault segment that ruptured during the 1833 Sumatra earthquake. This group of earthquakes, in addition to the 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake, all ruptured along the megathrust that forms the interface between the Australian and Sunda Plates. This event was the only one not to cause a tsunami.

Damage and casualties

Extensive damage and landslides populated the Bengkulu area, with minor injuries and damage on Enggano Island. In the village worst struck, several hundred structures were reported in ruins. Peter Walker of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva denied the earthquake as the major cause of death, instead blaming disease. "...the actual damage from the earthquake isn't that great; the houses are wooden structures so they don't collapse much. But what he found was an endemic problem of rampant malaria, rampant communicable diseases and levels of mortality and morbidity that are totally unacceptable. That is the disaster, not the earthquake." An aftershock measuring 6.2 struck on June 7.

Aftermath and response

International relief teams arrived in the region within several days. Relief efforts were impeded by fallen telephone poles, which blocked the supplies. The main problem found in the affected areas was a lack of water supply and electricity, these facilities having been cut off by oscillation. Pope John Paul II expressed his "sincere sympathy" for those families stricken by the earthquake. He called for a rapid international response to the quake, and said he would keep its victims in his prayers. A Taiwanese rescue team was sent to help victims of the tremor, the first from the country to take part in rescue efforts aside from Asia. The United States donated US$ 25,000 instantly to relief organizations, Japan offering a grant of US$140,000 and Australia US$143,000 in addition to a two-person team of emergency relief examiners.

Wharton Basin event

Two weeks later on June 18, another magnitude 7.9 event occurred about 1,000 kilometers (620 mi) to the southwest in the Wharton Basin. At the time, it was the largest intraplate earthquake in the Indian Ocean.


2000 Enggano earthquake Wikipedia

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