[Double-click to enlarge] The Banda Sea, a premier region for oil exploration, was struck by a massive 7.7 earthquake this morning. There was no tsunami threat to the U.S., but a similar quake near Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on Christmas Eve 2004 killed 180,000 people.
Source: Google Earth
The undersea quake was measured at 7.7 on the Richter Scale.
There is no threat to the United States of a tsunami, however, as they do not historically occur in the Pacific, a tsunami early alert center said. However, there are almost no sensor arrays in the region, a flaw that helped lead to the tsunami disaster that killed 180,000 people on Christmas Eve in 2004.
Here is the reading from the USGS:
MAP 7.7 2006/01/27 16:58:49 -5.448 128.099 341.5 BANDA SEA
Here is the Tsunami alert:
WEPA43 PAAQ 271714
TO - TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM PARTICIPANTS IN
FROM - WEST COAST AND ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION
BULLETIN NUMBER 1
ISSUED 01/27/2006 AT 1714 UTC
...THIS TSUNAMI INFORMATION BULLETIN IS FOR ALASKA - BRITISH COLUMBIA - WASHINGTON - OREGON AND CALIFORNIA ONLY...
NO - REPEAT NO - WATCH OR WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE STATES AND PROVINCES LISTED ABOVE.
PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE - 7.7
LOCATION - 5.4S 128.2E - BANDA SEA
TIME - 0759 AST 01/27/2006
0859 PST 01/27/2006
1659 UTC 01/27/2006
BASED ON MAGNITUDE AND HISTORIC TSUNAMI INFORMATION THE EARTHQUAKE WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO GENERATE A TSUNAMI DAMAGING TO CALIFORNIA - OREGON - WASHINGTON - BRITISH COLUMBIA OR ALASKA. SOME OF THESE AREAS MAY EXPERIENCE SMALL SEA LEVEL CHANGES. IN COASTAL AREAS OF INTENSE SHAKING LOCALLY GENERATED TSUNAMIS CAN BE TRIGGERED BY UNDERWATER LANDSLIDES.
THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE TSUNAMI BULLETINS FOR HAWAII AND OTHER AREAS OF THE PACIFIC.
THIS WILL BE THE ONLY BULLETIN ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT BY THE WEST COAST AND ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER UNLESS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE. REFER TO THE INTERNET SITE WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION.