Quake moved Sumatra by only 20 centimetres

Date: 1/2/2005




The Indonesian islands of Sumatra moved only 20 centimetres on average after the Boxoing Day earthquake and tsunami, and not dozens of metres as previously feared, media reported, quoting calculations by the Danish Space Center. Scientists Shfaqat Abbas Khan and Olafur Gudmundsson of the Danish Space Center, who used a GPS satellite system to determine the extent of the plate movement following the earthquake, have found that the island did not move more than 20 centimeters on average. The two Danish scientists’ findings also contradict a report from the Malaysian navy stating that the depth in certain stretches of the narrow Malacca Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, had changed by as much as two metres after the quake.

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