The death toll has climbed to 125,000, with untold victims lost to the sea from the ensuing tsunamis that rolled across the Indian Ocean to devastate Shi Lanka four hours after the earthquake shook the surroundings islands of Indonesia.
Earthquakes seldom strike with more force than 9 on the Richter scale yet there was no prior warning of the earthquake, and ensuing tsunamis by the ICG/ITSU’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu. The Australian reported the center’s director as saying, quote: ‘We tried to do what we could but we don’t have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world.’
An unbelievable offering when there are Heads of Governments to contact, Heads of Embassies in Australia and America, to name just two Embassies within the surrounding Indonesian islands. Modern technology allows the flash of messages from satellite transmission to deliver warnings around the world. In the aftermath there is only the inconceivable death toll from lack of warning, to comprehend.
Documentaries have been made about the catastrophic devastation caused by shifting tectonic plates under the sea and the tsunamis that follow, yet geographical science institutions stumble over explanations in an effort to submit an acceptable reason as to why no warning was issued for the magnitude of this earthquake emerging from the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the earth’s crust.
The Australian reported; US Geological Service director as saying about the aftershocks still moving within the 950 mile Sumatran fault line, ‘I don't think there's any chance of a major earthquake of (magnitude 9) but there will be continued strong aftershocks.’
The words ‘I don’t think’ suggests seismologists struggle to deliver a reliable Early Warning System for earthquakes in the ocean floor. To suggest a warning was not possible, for the tsunamis that followed the Sumatran earthquake, only serves to pose the question, are Early Warning Systems in fact a reliable source of information, when the unpredictable does not appear to have be detected until far too late to avoid this catastrophic aftermath?
The Sumatran fault line is equal to the San Andreas fault line, and with no effective Early Warning System in place for earthquakes the same devastation is likely to occur again in the future.
The world is forever shifting, forever turning on its 23º polar axis, and now it has taken a direct hit from the enormity of the earthquake off the Sumatran coastline. It is forever spewing eruptions and shaking from volatile volcanoes and earthquakes within the ‘Ring of Fire’, as history has recorded with Krakatoa erupting in the Selat Suda off Jakarta on the August 26th 1883.
The fault line along the Indonesian islands has been emitting volatile signs since the 19th Century when Krakatoa blew with a force equal to 200 megatons explosion, causing tsunamis to kill 37,000 islanders, in the same countries now hit by the catastrophic earthquake on Boxing Day.
When Krakatoa erupted it blew two-thirds of its volcanic face away, obliterating the two neighboring volcanoes in its path. Ash from the eruption shot so high into the earth’s atmosphere that vivid sunsets painted skies for months afterwards. At the time scientists predicted possible climate changes to the world; over a century later the altered rotation of the earth’s axis is now in question from the Aceh earthquake.
An Early Warning System that can effectively predict earthquakes, and the tsunamis that follow from sliding tectonic plates in the ocean floor, needs to be activated before yet another catastrophic earthquake strikes out from the ‘Ring of Fire’.
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