Special report: Earthquake in Indonesia
JAKARTA, May 28 (Xinhua) -- An Indonesian researcher held that the Saturday morning
deadly earthquake in Yogyakarta in the country has no ties with the activity
of Merapi volcano, according to local media reports on Sunday.
When the 5.9 on the Richter scale earthquake took place, grid locked traffic paralyzed Yogyakarta streets as panicky residents, mainly from the coastal area of Bantul, fought for every inch of the road toward Kaliurang. There, to the north, stood Mt. Merapi, which has been spewing smoke and lava for weeks.
Many people wondered whether the devastating quake was related to the extremely
high volcanic activity of Mt. Merapi, the Jakarta Post daily reported
However, a researcher at the National Coordinating Agency for Surveys and
Mapping, Priyadi Kartono, said Merapi's stirrings had nothing to do with the
earthquake despite its close proximity to the quake's epicenter, some 38
kilometers south of densely populated Yogyakarta.
"Mount Merapi cannot generate a tectonic quake, but the quake can affect
the activity inside the volcano," said Priyadi.
The quake took place 33 kilometers below the seabed at around 5:55 a.m.
local time It was categorized as a shallow quake.
"There is certainly a connection between the Dec. 26, 2005 quake that
triggered giant waves that swept much of Aceh, and the one that jolted
Yogyakarta on Saturday," said Priyadi, adding "because the moving plates are
under the same belt."
Priyadi noted that the underground belt goes through Aceh, Sumatra's west coast,
southern Java, East Nusa Tenggara, and Timor, all the way to Seram island.
"Yogyakarta and the rest of Java island are located in the Ring of Fire belt, where the Eurasian and Indo-Australian plates stack on each other and create regular movements, which cause earthquakes," said Wahyu Supri Hantoro, a senior researcher at the Bandung-based Center of Geotechnology at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. Enditem