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Aceh: Earthquakes

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the earthquake in Indonesia’s western province of Aceh. (189608)

Indonesia sits along a volatile seismic strip called the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific. The possibility of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis is ever present. An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale struck undersea near Aceh Province on 20 February. The community which recorded the strongest tremor is reported to be Meulaboh, Aceh. Five people were killed, 52 seriously injured and many buildings were damaged. Our embassy in Jakarta continues to monitor the situation, but reports no British casualties.

In addition, a further earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on 25 February. The Indonesian authorities report that there does not appear to be any visible damage. In both cases, tsunami warnings were issued but later lifted. Again, our embassy in Jakarta continues to monitor the situation.