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Tuesday, 28 December, 2004

Quake rattles earth orbit, alters Asia's map, say US geophysicists

Los Angeles, December 28: An earthquake that unleashed deadly tidal waves on Asia was so powerful it made the earth wobble on its axis and permanently altered the regional map, US geophysicists have said.

The 9.0-magnitude temblor that struck 250 km southeast of Sumatra island on Sunday may have moved small islands as much as 20 metres, according to one expert.

"That earthquake has changed the map," US geological survey expert Ken Hudnut said.

"Based on seismic modeling, some of the smaller islands off the southwest coast of Sumatra may have moved to the southwest by about 20 metres. That is a lot of slip."

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