Nine Australian surfers who were in the Mentawai seas when the 7.2 RS earthquake hit the region on Monday, 25 October at 21.40 hrs (West Indonesia Time), – were found to be safe, said the Head of the Regional Disaster Mitigation Center of West Sumatra, Hermansyah.
They had reported having been carried up by a 3 meter high tsunami wave at sea while they were on their 23 meter boat named the Southern Cross. Captains of the vessel were Australian Chris Scurrah and Akinori Fujita from Japan.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), eight other Australians on the boat were Clifford Humphries, Gary Mountford, Christopher Papallo, Alexander McTaggart, Neil Cox, Jeffrey Annesley, Stephen Reynolds dan Colin Steell.
Meanwhile, two other boats chartered by Australian surfers, Freedom3 and Midas were near the shore when the sea receded, then a 3 meter high wave loomed and lifted Freedom3 up, to crash it down on the Midas. All Australian surfers were, however, reported safe, said Agung Laksono, Coordinating Minister for Public Welfare.
Up to date 4 people are reported killed and 135 missing, with 7 villages wiped away by the tsunami that came down on these islands located alongside Sumatra.
After the earthquake that measured 7.2 on the Richter scale, the Vulcanology and Geological Agency immediately warned of a possible impending tsunami, but lifted the warning after one hour. The Sumatran mainland has been spared the tsunami.
Geologists said that they had long expected a large earthquake to occur in this area since a lot of stored energy had not been spent. However, since Monday’s quake had hit the South Pagai Island only, much energy is still stored north of Pagai to Siberut island waiting to expend.