Two massive earthquakes triggered back-to-back tsunami warnings for Indonesia and surrounding Indian Ocean waters this morning, local time, sending panicked residents fleeing to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles. The 8.7 magnitude earthquake that struck off Indonesia, raised fears of another huge tsunami but authorities are currently indicating there are no reports suggesting a major threat.  That quake was followed by an 8.2 magnitude aftershock, which many would characterize as fairly severe.

According to the US Geological survey, the initial quake struck 500km southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island, at a depth of 33km.  Indonesia’s governmental authorities have indicated that power was down in Aceh province and people were gathering on high ground as sirens warned of the danger. A tsunami warning was issued from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii advising countries all along the rim of the Indian Ocean, from Australia and India to as far off as Africa, that a tsunami could be generated. Thus far, no activity has been reported.

This incident is yet another indication of heightened major earthquake activity within Asia coastal regions. The latest was a series of severe quakes that struck off the coast of Japan in March.

Supply chain teams should continue to monitor this situation for any further developments.  It seems  that all of us in the global supply chain community have gained a new sensitivity to the occurrence of these events.

Bob Ferrari