January 10, 2012: A 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra: The quake struck at a depth of 29 kilometers (18 miles) at 6:37PM UTC (GMT) time. However, because of the International Date Line it was January 11th, at 37 minutes after midnight at the epicenter. It was 1P37PM (Jan. 10th) in New York, 12P37 in Chicago, 11:37AM in Denver and 10:37AM in Los Angeles.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued the following bulletin at 6:45PM Zulu (UTC –GMT) time: “A DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT DOES NOT EXIST BASED ON HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA. HOWEVER – THERE IS A VERY SMALL POSSIBILITY OF A LOCAL TSUNAMI THAT COULD AFFECT COASTS LOCATED USUALLY NO MORE THAN A HUNDRED KILOMETERS FROM THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER.” Since the quake struck more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the nearest land area in Indonesia, no tsunami should be seen. However, some Indonesian Islands are within 70 to 110 miles east of the epicenter, so caution should be exercised in those regions.
The tremor occurred 261 miles southwest of Banda Aceh, Sumatra; 333 miles southwest of Lhokseumawe, Sumatra, Indonesia; 591 miles west of Kualalumpur, Malaysia; and 1,111 miles WNW of Jakarta, Java, Indonesia (see map).
The last major quake in the area, greater than 7.0M, occurred on December 14, 2011 and was, also, a 7.3M. This area is one of the most active in the world with 38 >= 7.0M in the last 40 years, followed by Japan (37), USA (28), Russia (24) and Mexico (24).
The Master of Disaster