Indonesia: Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcano

From various web sources:

Indonesia is reeling from a triple whammy: an earthquake, tsunami, and volcano. So far, 300 are known dead, nearly 500 missing and tens of thousand are homeless.

The earthquake occurred at 9:42 pm local time (14:42 UTC) on Monday night (25 Oct 2010), registering 7.7 on the Richter Scale, according to the United States Geological Survey. The quake struck about 150 miles southwest of Sumatra. This quake is the latest in a series of large ruptures along the Sunda thrust fault, including a 2004 M 9.1 earthquake that ruptured within 500 miles north of this earthquake. That earthquake and the resulting Tsunami killed an estimated 250,000 people.

A 10-foot high tsunami was triggered by the Monday night quake, which flattened several villages and a surf resort. At least 411 people are still missing, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, and 4,000 people have been displaced by the tsunami.

Local TV footage showed villages flattened by the tsunami, with survivors searching through the rubble for belongings. Large areas of land were underwater and homes were torn apart by the tsunami as it hit Pagai Utara, an island in the Indian Ocean south of Sumatra. Tsunami warning sirens installed after the 2004 tsunami reportedly did not work due to a lack of maintenance.

Following soon after the earthquake and tsunami, Mount Merapi, on the outskirts of the city of Yogyakarta on Java island, erupted . The volcano, one of Indonesia’s most active, erupted with clouds of ash and searing gas. The eruption has killed at least 28 people and injured 14.

At least 24 people were killed by a pyroclastic flow Tuesday that destroyed the village of Kinahrejohas on the south flank. Among the victims was the respected Guard of Merapi, Mbah Marijan whom many correspondents have met in person.

The VAAC Darwin reports ash reaching 60,000 ft (20 km) (!) in an advisory dated 19:45 GMT (26 Oct) and 30,000 ft (ca. 10 km) in a follow-up advisory at 19:50. Most likely, the altitude of the eruption plume is not easily detecteable and may be overestimated. Local sources speak of heights around 1.5 km above the crater, i.e. ca. 4000 m a.s.l. or ca. 12,000 ft.

The GCP event was set for a period beginning at 9 PM local time (14:00 UTC 25 Oct 2010), about 40 minutes before the Richter 7.7 quake that caused the Tsunami, ending 24 hours later, about 2 hours after the volcano eruption. The result is Chisquare 86150.14 on 86400 df, for p = 0.726 and Z = -0.601.

Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcano

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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