Indonesia Study Group
Date & time
The 21st century began with a remarkable series of great earthquakes occurring off Sumatra, starting with the 2004 Great Sumatra Earthquake and culminating most recently in the 2018 Palu earthquake. While some have caused many deaths, none of the post-2004 events have resulted in fatalities on the massive scale of the 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunami. Can we expect this trend to continue for future Indonesian earthquakes?
Risk for natural disasters is often expressed as a product of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. This implies that risk increases with each of hazard, exposure and vulnerability, but also shows that risk may increase dramatically if more than one of these factors increase. I will argue in this talk that all three factors comprising risk have increased markedly in Indonesia since the late 20th century.
The study will present a combination of modelling results, compilations of historical accounts and analyses of recent geodetic data that suggest that, although currently the Java-Bali region may be in a period of quiescence, the potential for large, destructive earthquakes is high, and that when such events occur their impacts are likely to be severe.
Phil R. Cummins received his PhD in Geophysics from University of California Berkeley in 1988 and worked as a postdoctoral and research fellow at The Australian National University until 1996, when he moved to the Japan Center for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). After leading a geodynamics research unit at JAMSTEC, in 2001 he took up a position leading earthquake and tsunami hazard research at Geoscience Australia (GA). In 2011, he accepted a joint appointment between GA and ANU as Professor of Natural Hazards, where he combines teaching and research in natural hazards at ANU with technical application of earthquake and tsunami science at GA.