New research have discovered that the Palu-Koro Fault in Central Sulawesi have an earthquake potential of up to 7 magnitude which is very active and is estimated to near it cycle. Part of the segment have been discovered to be underneath the city of Palu which is fear that it would cause massive damage.
Activities of the Fault was delivered by seismologist from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Mudrik R Daryono and Danny Hilman, during a discussion in the National Energy Board in Jakarta, Tuesday (11/8). The discussion was held by the Association of Indonesian Geologist, SKALA Association, National platform for DRR, and the Maritime Coordinating Ministry along with other various organisations to prepare the Palu-Koro Expedition.
“From the Paleoseismic excavation of this area it is found of indication for a break of cycle of earthquake of about 130 years” Said Mudrik. “The last major earthquake in this zone is in the Saluki segment of the Palu-Koro Fault in 1909. It was above M7 and is categorised as a strong earthquake” he added.
Referencing the notes of Dutch geologist, Abendanon, Mudrik stated, the earthquake in 1909 causes massive damage in Central Sulawesi. “It was mention that the because of the earthquake, houses were destroyed and abandoned by the people. Leaves and coconut also fell as a sign of the earthquake.” He stated.
Before the earthquake of 1909, there was a previous earthquake in 1907. That is parallel in the Palu-Koro Fault. “The earthquake in the area during 1907 is similar to that in 2012, because of that we were worried this would trigger a larger earthquake as it is near the cycle.” Said Mudrik.
According to Danny, beside the Palu-Koro Fault, in that area, there is 20 more faults in that zone. The friction of earth in the Palukoro area, is around 4 cm a year. As a comparison, the Sumatra Fault moves at 12 cm a year while in Java only 3 mm a year. “Beside the Sumatra fault, the fault zone in Palukoro is classified as active and is proven to have a history of earthquake”
However, Danny added, to figure precisely when the cycle is, would still need further research. Up to this point, this has not been researched as much as in Sumatra.