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Tsunami alert: Indonesia braces for disaster

Breaking Earth News
Padang, Seismologists have warned that Padang, which lies near the colliding Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates, is most at risk from a final segment along the zone shifting to unleash a massive amount of energy. The zone's other segments have already cracked, including a large portion off Aceh, at the tip of Sumatra, which triggered the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In the last week alone, quakes measuring 7.2 and 7.5 have hit off Sumatra, while in September 2007, the island's Bengkulu province was badly damaged in an 8.4-magnitude quake that killed 23 people - each quake piling more pressure onto a stretch that must finally snap. "A lot of strained energy is still accumulated near the Mentawai islands." Measures and infrastructure to protect Padang's 900,000 residents from the fall-out, notably a tsunami, are being installed at a snail's pace. Evacuation shelters exist only on paper, roads are yet to be widened to provide escape routes, cash is in short supply and only some residents have been educated about the dangers.
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