Living on Some Shaky Isles


When the dogs in the street started barking and our cats went into crazy mode, the shaking and window rattling that quickly followed explained everything.

Another tremor. We are used to them, living in Indonesia where rumbling volcanoes and earthquakes are all too common, but this 7am awakening was different. More prolonged (maybe 30 seconds) , more shaky than any we could recall. Social media agreed with us and soon flying fingers were tweeting and facebooking. The whole island shook, it seems. First call was 6.4. Then 6.2. Finally consensus settled at 5.5. Not too bad at all in the scheme of things, but scary enough for everyone. A friend who has lived in San Francisco said he had never experienced a similar one. Long-time expats and locals are saying the same. Amazingly I haven’t seen reports of casualties or damage, unlike at the other end of the archipelago when Aceh was struck by a deadly 6.5 in December.

Earthquake Track tells the story. I know that New Zealand claims the ‘shaky isles’ nickname but with 17000 islands in Indonesia, I’m borrowing it for today, as we have more than one a day somewhere in the country.

Stats from Earthquake Track for 23rd March, 2017

Indonesia has had: (M1.5 or greater)

0 earthquakes in the past 24 hours
15 earthquakes in the past 7 days
47 earthquakes in the past 30 days
504 earthquakes in the past 365 days

The largest earthquake in Indonesia:

This week: 5.5 in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
This month: 6.0 in Sabang, Aceh, Indonesia
This year: 6.7 in Lospalos, Lautém, East Timor

Our little heart shaker yesterday morning made news, from Paris, Washington to India. Why Bali, when there is more than one in Indonesia each day? Can only be tourism.

Today the rattle and roll is practically forgotten, lost in the terrible news from London, but we are living on some shaky isles. Let’s hope there are no resulting landslides. And I’ve barely mentioned volcanoes. Another time.

The cats are recovering.


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