The Sumatra Earthquake

On February 25th, 2022, an earthquake wrecked the Indonesian province of West Sumatra.


The province of West Sumatra in Indonesia was ravaged by a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in late February 2022. This is the second major natural disaster to attack the nation this year, (the first was back in January, when another, more powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 shook the island of Java, which is also the most populated island in the world) starting this year off with some terrible news.  This earthquake took the life of two people and injured twenty more. Many homes, religious facilities, and schools were destroyed because of this, and truly devastated the Sumatran people.

The nation of Indonesia is located well within the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for its volcanic activity, and most importantly, earthquakes. In fact, the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history happened in Indonesia, the eruption of Mt. Tambora, which resulted in an entire year without a summer. The most powerful earthquakes happen along the Ring of Fire, even setting off magnitude 9.7 earthquakes, happening in Chile. The reason? Tectonic plates.

The Ring of Fire exists because of two oceanic plates (the Australian and Pacific plates) converging and creating highly volcanic island arcs, which the country of Indonesia is completely made up of. And this converging causes earthquakes near plate boundaries, something that Indonesia is near. Indonesia has the perfect recipe for natural disasters. Many volcanoes are in Indonesia, too, so Indonesia is a deadly natural disaster bubble, bursting at the seams.

A magnitude 6.0-6.9, which this earthquake falls into, is considered as a “strong” earthquake on the Richter Scale, the unit of measurement to find out the magnitude (or intensity) of an earthquake. The Richter Scale increases on a logarithmic scale, rather than a linear scale. This means, for example, that a 2.0 earthquake is 2x as strong as a 1.0 earthquake, and a 3.0 earthquake is 4x as strong as a 1.0 earthquake. A similar scale is also used for measuring hurricanes, called the Saffir-Simpson scale.

In conclusion, this earthquake has been an unfortunate and terrible disaster for the country of Indonesia.