Sepanjang zona subduksi Pulau Sumatera merupakan jalur gempa bumi yang paling banyak menyerap dan mengeluarkan energi gempa bumi. Dalam sejarah, tercatat sudah banyak kejadian gempa bumi dengan magnitudo di atas 8.0 (skala Richter dll) [Natawidjaja, 2005; Newcomb and McCann, 1987]. Di Selatan Sumatera, gempa besar pernah terjadi tahun 1833 (M8.9) dan tahun 1797 (M8.3-8.7). Kedua gempa ini menghasilkan tsunami besar yang menghantam perairan Sumatra Barat dan Bengkulu.
Di wilayah khatulistiwa, gempa besar terakhir terjadi tahun 1935 dengan kekuatan gempa M 7.7. Gempa ini menyebabkan kerusakan yang cukup parah di Telo, kota Kecamatan di Kep. Batu dan juga wilayah sekitarnya. Di beberapa tempat di Kep. Batu dilaporkan juga adanya kenaikan air laut ketika gempa, namun tidak dilaporkan adanya kerusakan serius akibat gelombang laut yang naik ini .
Gempa dan tsunami besar juga pernah melanda wilayah Nias- Simelue pada tahun 1861 diperkirakan berkekuatan lebih dari 8.5 SR. Kemudian tahun 1907 terjadi kembali tsunami besar di wilayah Simelue dan Nias. Meskipun magnitudo gempa yang menyebabkan tsunami 1907 ini tidak terlalu besar (M7.6) namun tinggi tsunami yang terjadi di pantai barat dan Utara Simelue mencapai lebih dari 10 meter.
Bedasarkan catatan ,tinggi tsunami tahun 1907 dua kali lebih besar dari tsunami Aceh 2004 di wilayah Pulau Simelue. Peristiwa tsunami inilah yang konon melahirkan istilah “SMONG” atau bahasa lokal untuk tsunami. Orang-orang yang selamat saat bencana tsunami 1907 itu lantas menceritakan tragedi tersebut pada anak cucu mereka, turun temurun hingga kini. Inti nasehatnya kurang lebih adalah “apabila nanti air laut tiba-tiba surut sampai jauh ke tengah maka itulah tandanya smong akan datang, larilah cepat ke bukit, selamatkan jiwa dan tinggalkan saja harta benda”.
Gambar 1. Lukisan dari tsunami yang terjadi tahun 1861 di wilayah Sumatra Utara, Nias, dan Simelue menggambarkan kedahsyatan dari tsunami tersebut.
Gambar 2 : Peta Kejadian Gempa di Sumatera
Beberapa catatan dan Memoir tentang kejadian Gempa di Sumatera
Gempa tahun 1797 (10 Februari 10, pukul 10 malam)
Naskah Asli dari catatan sejarah gempa 1797:
1.From [Wichmann, 1918b], pp. 74-75.
(English Translation by Jenny Briggs)
February 10, around 10 p.m. West coast of Sumatra. The first period of shaking lasted one minute, after which a tidal wave immediately arose and forced its way with such strength into the river at Padang that the town was flooded.. After this, the water withdrew so far that even the river bed was left dry. This sequence was repeated three times. The village of Ajer [Air] Manis, located on the beach, was flooded and several huts were swept away. In Padang itself, crevices appeared that were 3-4 inches wide, but these closed up again after further shaking occurred. However, cracks formed in the walls of most of the buildings.
Throughout the entire night as well as throughout the whole of the next day,
February 11, the ground was moving. Every 15-20 minutes, severe shaking occurred. For the duration of the entire following week, people felt the ground trembling. However, the intervals of calm grew steadily longer.
According to J. Griffith’s reports, the earthquakes had spread over an area 2 degrees north and 2 degrees south of the equator. Moreover, the tidal wave they generated also had effects on the Batu islands.. J. Anderson mentioned, based on the report of S. C. Crooke, a severe earthquake in the region of Djambi [Jambi], east Sumatra, “about 20 years prior to 1820” , and J. R. Logan thinks that it very possibly could have occurred in 1797 at the same time as the quakes in west Sumatra .
1 “par les matières en fusion qu’on voyait bouilloner au fonds de son cratère.” Deschamps. Precis sur l’ile de Java. Mem. de la Soc. roy. d’Arras 3. 1820, p. 217.
2 .J. du Puy. Een paar aanteekenigen omtrent vuurbergen en aardbevingen op Sumatra, Tidjschrift voor Neerl. 1845. 3, p 114. — Robert Mallet (Fourth report on the Facts of Earthquakes. Report Brit. Assoc. Adv. of Sci. 24. 1854. London 1855, p. 38) referred to the papers written by J. Griffith in stating that this earthquake occurred on Feb. 20, but Griffith’s reports certainly gave it no date. On Feb. 10, 1797, S. A. Buddingh described an earth- and sea-quake at the Minnahassa on Celebes. He reported himself that at Kema the tidal wave was so powerful that it made the water in the rivers rise up, and that among others the village of Ajer Madidi — halfway between Kema and Menado at an elevation of 232.3 m.– was flooded (Neederlandsch Oost-Indiё 2. Rotterdam 1860, p. 66.) In the entire report, not one word is true. Apparently he once heard of the earthquake in Sumatra and, with the usual carelessness, attributed it to northern Celebes.
3 .It was also reported that a ship was swept 3 miles toward land by the tidal wave and that the wave caused 300 people to lose their lives (Memoir of the Life and Public Services of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, London 1830, p. 295).
4. Description of a rare Species of Worm Shells, discovered at an Island lying off the Northwest [sic!- A.W.- author] coast of Sumatra. Philos. Transact. 96. London 1806, p. 269.
5. Mission to the East Coast of Sumatra in 1823. Edinburgh and London 1826, p. 402.
6. On the Local and Relative Geology of Singapore. Journ. Asiatic Soc. of Bengal. N.S. 16. Calcutta 1847, p. 549.
2.From [du Puy, 1845], pp 113-115.
Translated by Maarten Schmidt, Caltech
Earthquakes are frequent on Sumatra, but they cause not much damage because of the low population.
The strongest earthquake in the memory of the people in Padang, happened on February 10, 1797 around 10 p.m. The moon which was full shone brightly but darkened at the first quake and stayed so during the night – the first shock lasted for about one minute – the waves of the sea ran with fury up the river by which the whole place was flooded. Next, all the water ran out the river, which was suddenly dry; this repeated itself three times; the river banks were covered with fish; a sailing ship of 150 tons which was moored to a tree near the mouth of the river, broke loose when the sea entered and was driven to behind the then-existing fort, a distance of 3/4 Eng. miles; on the way the vessel hit a stone house and two wooden ones which were demolished. Several smaller vessels, which were moored in the river, were also dislodged and moved off by the sea; some of these were later found behind the great market. A storage building in front of the house of the Resident at the river bank was lifted by the
rushing waves and put down in the Chinese kampong – all of Air Manis, a seaside village at the corner opposite the Padang harbor is flooded and many houses flushed away – the next day one found several of the unfortunate inhabitants dead on the tree branches, where they had climbed to save themselves.
The inhabitants of Padang left their houses and fled to the square outside the city; they saw the ground break open at some places some 3-4 inches wide, and then in further shaking close again. The earth was the whole night, and the following day, in continuing movement; every15 to 20 minutes there was heavy quaking and it lasted a week that the ground was shaking; the pauses became longer and longer. The walls of most of the stone houses in Padang were torn, so that cases and furniture fell over and much damage was suffered; in Padang itself only two people died.
A less strong earthquake occurred in 1822 . . .[Shaking reports suggest that this earthquake was caused by the Sumatran fault, far inland]
3.[du Puy, 1847], pp 55-56.
Translated by Maarten Schmidt, Caltech
On February 10, 1797, at 10 p.m. a heavy earthquake occurred which caused the collapse of many houses. The shock was so strong that the ground split open; further shocks were felt every half hour for five hours during the night though they became weaker and weaker. At the time of the first shock the sea came up three times, so high that it reached one third of the height of the ‘Apenberg’, which did brake the force somewhat, and all the ships outside the river were thrown onto dry land. An English sailing ship of about 180-200 tons was found behind the Bird Market the next morning. The sides of the river were covered with fish and all seaside houses were flooded. Fortunately, this terror caused few or no human casualties. Old people claimed that 40 years ago there had been a yet stronger earthquake. [There was, in fact an earthquake in 1756 (Newcomb and McCann ).]
Ringkasan: Semua laporan dari gempa dan tsunami tahun 1797 terfokus pada akibat tsunami di wilayah muara sungai sampai pelabuhan (Muaro Padang). Ini tidak berarti bahwa limpasan tsunami hanya sangat terlihat di wilayah ini, karena perumahan penduduk memang baru menempati wilayah ini pada saat itu. Walaupun dilaporkan kerusakan di Padang cukup parah tapi yang mati hanya dua orang.
Guncangan : Lama guncangan yang terasa di Padang adalah satu menit. Laporan du Puy  mengindikasikan bahwa gempa ini adalah yang terkuatdalam ingatan penduduk Padang waktu itu. Namun pernyataan ini berlawanan dengan laporan du Puy tahun 1847 yang mnyebutkan bahwa ada gempa yang lebih kuat yang terjadi 40 tahun sebelumnya (~1757). Banyak rumah yang ambruk ketika gempa. Di tanah terbanyak banyak rekahan dengan bukaan 3 – 4 inci.
Tsunami : Beberapa orang yang berusaha memanjat pohon untuk menghindari tsunami di Air Manis keesokan harinya ditemukan sudah mati di atas pohon. Seluruh kota terendam bah tsunami dan beberapa rumah dilaporkan hanyut terbawa gelombang. Di Padang dilaporkan tsunaminya juga menggenangi ”seluruh” kota. Orang melaporkan ada 3-4 kali gelombang ”pasang-surut” di pelabuhan. Satu laporan menyatakan bahwa tsunami naik sampai sepertiga Bukit atau Semenanjung Apenberg (Gunung Padang) (Gbr 2.3) yang tinggi totalnya 104 m. Artinya tinggi tsunami mencapai 30 meteran. Laporan itu juga menyebutkan bahwa Bukit appenberg tersebut memecahkan gelombang tsunami. Laporan lain menyebutkan bahwa ketika tsunami tinggi air laut adalah sekitar 50 kaki di atas normal. Di Padang, gelombang ”pasang-surut” tsunami membuat dasar sungai terlihat kering dan meninggalkan banyak ikan mati di atasnya. Semua perahu di sungai menjadi berada di atas tanah kering. Ada kapal besi dari Inggris seberat 150 -200 ton yang ditambatkan ke sebuah pohon di dekat muara sungai terbawa gelombang tsunami sampai 0.75 mil ke arah hulu dan kemudian terdampar di daerah Pasar Burung. Kapal ini merusakkan beberapa rumah takkala saat terhanyut. Semua rumah di tepi laut dikabarkan tenggelam oleh air bah.
Interpretasi: Di Air Manis, di sebuah kampong kecil di tepi pantai sebelah baratnya bukit Apenberg (Gunung Padang), tinggi tsunami cukup untuk menenggelamkan orang yang berusaha memanjat pohon-pohon untuk menghindar. Pohon-pohon ini kemungkinan sekitar 4-5 meter untuk dapat menahan beban rata-rata orang dewasa. Kemudian dari fakta bahwa glombang tsunami bisa membawa kapal besi Inggris seberat 150-200 ton artinya bahwa tinggi tsunami (=”flow depth”) paling tidak 5 meteran mengingat tinggi pinggiran sungai adalah sekitar 2 meter dan ”draft” bawah kapal mungkin sekitar 3 meteran. Jadi dari dua catatan kejadian ini dapat dapat disimpulkan bahwa tinggi gelombang tsunami adalah sekitar 5 meteran. Ini adalah perkiraan yang cukup konservatif dibandingkan dengan laporan yang menyebutkan bahwa tinggi gelombang adalah sekitar 30 meter di tepi bukit Apenberg dan sekitar 50 kaki (15 m) ditempat lainnya di sepanjang pantai. Kami sangat meragukan laporan ini, karena kalau benar
seharusnya tsunami sebesar ini menghancurkan seluruh perumahan penduduk di Padang dan menyebabkan kemaian yang lebih banyak lagi. Kami memperkirakan bahwa tinggi maksimum gelombang tsunami-nya kurang lebih setinggi 5 sampai 10 meteran.
Gempa tahun 1833 (24 November, pukul 8 malam)
Catatan Asli sejarah gempa tahun 1833:
1.From [Wichmann, 1918b], pp 94-97.
(Translated by Jenny Briggs)
January 28, a few minutes after 12 noon. Batavia. Earthquakes. The shocks were repeated, gaining in severity. The last one was so strong that several houses were damaged and even the old Lutheran church developed cracks.
January 29, noon. Tjiwidei. District of Tjisondari, Division of Bandung, Preanger regency, Java. Severe quakes, one of which was followed by rumblings from the earth that lasted one minute.
November 24, around 8:30 p.m. Sumatra. Severe earthquake, that was felt in Singapore and even in Java.
In Bengkulen [Bengkulu], on the west coast of Sumatra, there were severe quakes, the first of which lasted 5 minutes4 and caused damage and even destruction of buildings. The tidal wave which crashed into the coast destroyed the harbor dam and all houses nearby. Two schooners, along with several smaller crafts, were flung onto the land.
Padang. Severe quakes, lasting 3 minutes, which recurred over the following days.
Direction SSW-NNE. Apart from the damage to buildings, cracks also appeared in the earth, from which water and “sulfurous steam” arose. Each quake was accompanied by a subterranean crashing noise. A tidal wave that broke here did considerable damage.
Indrapura and Pulu Tjingko [Cinco island]. Severe shaking. The damage caused here by the tidal wave was significant, and people also lost their lives. From the Gunung Singalang (volcano) people heard a loud boom, which, as at the Merapi volcano (which was initially blamed for the explosion), was followed by an eruption.
Priaman. The most intense quakes. Cracks of two or more feet in breadth appeared in the earth. The sea drew back and then returned in the form of a powerful tidal wave, which tore numerous ships from their anchors. The shaking continued for many days.
Province of Rau, Division of Lubuk Sikaping. The Amerongen Fort was forcibly attacked by rebellious natives during the time of the earthquake itself; they interpreted the shaking as a good sign.
Palembang. The first quake, noticed at 8:30 p.m., was followed by 6 others. Direction S-N. Buildings developed cracks and several huts collapsed.
The Ajer [Air] Lang river, whose source was at the volcano Bukit Kaba, had run dry 3 years previously when an earthquake was followed by a landslide that created a dam and a lake. During the earthquake of November 24, however, this dam was destroyed again, which emptied the lake. In their stormy course, the tumbling waters either partly or completely destroyed the village of Kapala Tjurk on Ajer Lang, as well as the more distant villages on Ajer Kling: Udjan Panas, Lubuk Talang, Ajer Apo, Lubuk Tandjung, Tabah, Njambikei and Grung Agung.
Singapore. At 8:35 p.m. a weak shock was felt, followed by a shaking of the ground that lasted for a minute or perhaps somewhat longer. The vibrations experienced in the encampment of Glam were stronger than those in the town itself. In the report it was noted that this was the first earthquake in Singapore since its occupation by the English (1819).
On Java, the quake was also weak; reports simply noted this fact.
On the high seas, the quake was also experienced. The ship “Mercurius”, which at the time was above the Pageh [Pagai] Islands on the west coast of Sumatra, was shaken by heavy quakes.
August 26. The island Ramiri on the coast of Arakan, Birma.
During the earthquake, people observing the mud volcano from Kyauk Phyu, [a
town/place- J.B.] which lay off its northern peak, saw flames and steam rising several hundred feet above the volcano’s summit.
November 25, 7 a.m. Singapore. A quake, followed by a second one at 5 a.m. [sic- J.B. This may be an error in the original that should be p.m.?] Direction E-W.12
Pulu Painang (Penang). Earthquake.
2. From [du Puy, 1847], pp 156-158.
Translated by Maarten Schmitt, Caltech
To the editors of the Journal of the Dutch (East) Indies
A friend and lover of the sciences has enabled me to communicate the following
observation of a major earthquake, falling in the time interval between the observations of Mr. du Puij and mine.
Dr. A.F.W. Stumpff
On November 24, 1833, around 8 p.m. oscillating earthquake shocks were felt in Padang, on the W. coast of Sumatra, which at first were not thought to be serious; soon, the shocks were so violent that all went outside, fearing to be buried under the wiggling buidings. Outside, with the earth shaking under one’s feet, one saw in a bright moon buildings and trees in hefty motion, the ground splitting with water bubbling up with major force, while the river was threatening to overflow. The sea was extremely active, one was fearful of it rushing in causing destruction as had happened in a similar natural event late in the last century. This situation
lasted somewhat over three minutes.
The entire population of Padang was afoot, those living along the river trying to reach higher lying areas of the city.
During the months of August, September and October one had observed extreme heat and humidity; the day of November 24 characterized itself by a deep silence in all of nature, that had not then been noticed, however; the terrible motion that followed was not without consequnces. In the houses, everything was overthrown, especially the stone houses were subject to great destruction through the tearing and separating of walls and the collapse of stone pillars. At sea there was also much commotion. Ships in the port of Padang moved on their anchors, some of which were lost.
An underground noise preceded the motion, after which mud and sulfur-like fumes rose from the split ground.
Several hours before the first shock, one had seen along the beach a surprisingly large amount of fish; the following day many dead fish were observed at the same location.
It was noteworthy that the volcano Merapi in Agam was not particularly active during this terrifying event; it had early thrown out much fire and ash but during the general upheaval the mountain was quiet; only after the first motion one had observed a terrible bang, which some here in Padang also believed to have heard.
Elsewhere, local circumstances seem to have offered more resistance to the destructive force. At Poelo Cinco [Cinco island], the sea rushed in and carried off several houses and also people.
At Indrapoera there was also some destruction caused by the sea and a few people died. At Benkoelen [Bengkulu], all buildings had much damage, so much so that the tower and the fort had to be taken down; the pier with the storage building and the customs office were wiped out, two government and several other ships were deposited on the beach, however no lives were lost there. Shocks were felt far into the ocean. The captain of the ‘Mercury’ tells that near the Pagai islands, hundreds of miles offshore, he experienced the shocks as if he had hit cliffs.
Experts are assuming that this earthquake moved from SSW to NNE. The first and
strongest motion was simultaneous with spring tide, three days before Full moon. The atmosphere seems to have been little affected and weather stations saw no change. The same night and following days were characterized by shocks ofvarying strengths until the end of November.
3.From [Verkerk, 1870], pp 314-328.
Translated by Maarten Schmidt, Caltech
[Summary: The article describes the first part of an ascent of themost active volcano in the Palembang Highlands, the Holy Mountain]
Kabaa. On the way, the author descibes his stay in Apoor, where he is hosted by the old man Tjermin.]
About 25 years ago, the region east of Kaaba was subject to an upheaval, so terrible in its consequences, that it has erased people’s memory of all previous disasters.
Some three years earlier, one of the streams originating on the Kaaba, the Ajer Lang, had suddenly dried up. An earthquake close to its origin had made a dam over the stream bed: the water could not escape and created a lake in a nearby valley. The damage caused by the lack of water along the Lang was repaired and forgotten, and the fear of disaster had subsided among the people – when suddenly terror struck. This time it happened in the middle of the night. Awakened by the hefty shocks of the booming earth, which was staggering like a horse driven by its rider, they rushed outside. From the steep, nearly verical, side of the Lang, which near the village Kapala Tjoeroek is about 100-200 feet high, and where the bamboo huts cling to the side like bird nests, they looked down into the river; but who can descibe their terror when they saw in the bright lightning flashes, there in the depths where hours earlier there had been nothing but a dry rocky bottom, a screaming and boiling sea that rose up from the abyss as if to swallow the mountain.
The lake had broken through its dam and rushed as if in one jump into the Kapala
Tjoerek bed! – The hapless! could hardly believe their eyes. As in a terrible dream, swaying between doubt and fear, they kept staring, and even though the danger increased all the time, none were thinking about saving themselves. None of them would escape. Not even the few who, not mesmerized by fear, ran up the mountainside. The faster and faster rising flood overtook them all. The disaster took more than 120 lives. Tjermin’s wife was also killed. A number of villages were totally or partly destroyed. Except for Kapala Tjoeroek at the Lang, the following places on the Klingi (into which the Lang empties): Oedjan Panas, Loeboe Talang, Ajer Apo, Loeboe Tandjoeng, Tabah, Njambikei and Goeroeng Agoeng. After two days the Lang went down to its present day level. It was finally noted that three elephants were moved along in the stream.
4.From: Jeffrey Hadler, U California, Berkeley, email communication 21 April 2005 ; … I’ve been writing to fellow historians and Anthony Reid has this 1833 anecdote: ‘I was fascinated by 1833, and share your wonderment that we have not heard more about it in the literature. I looked up the book I happen to have of Henry Lyman: The Martyr of Sumatra, since he was in Padang about that time. It turns out he arrived Padang only early 1834, but noted of Sunday 23rd Feb 1834 that he preached on board a ship, the Eugene, and “Heard of an earthquake at Padang whch very much damaged the hill; opened the river so as to make it dry, and filled it with fish not known before. It also drove on this coast a large shoal of fish, never before seen here, something like alewives.” (pp.289-90).’.
5. From [Boelhouwer, 1841], pp 175-176.
Translated by Maarten Schmidt, Caltech
I should not forget to mention an earthquake that we felt at the end of November. In the evening there were very heavy shocks, such that all of us feared for our lives and none, not even the oldest natives, could recall something like this. It was impossible for me and anybody else to stay in the house, and we could not even keep standing; all of nature seemed to be in turmoil, everything was shaking and was falling apart; nothing that had been on tables or in cabinets stayed there; the earth opened up at various places, creating fissures two or more feet wide. The sea retreated with furious power a long way, from which she came back in with double fury; none of the ships off Priaman stayed anchored, all were torn away and we found them the next morning at large distances, spread left and right. For several days there was shaking, though less. In Padang, several stone buildings, including the church, suffered much damage; the church could not be used any more, and on my journey to Padang I saw terrible grooves (rills) on the beach. At Benkoelen, as we learned later, the entire harbor head as well as the tax office for Import and Export were destroyed.
J.C. Boelhauwer seorang komandan militer Belanda di Pariaman
(J.C. Boelhouwer, Herinneringen van mijn verblijf op Sumatra Westkust gedurende jaren 1831-1834 (Kenangan-kenangan di Sumatra Barat dalam tahun-tahun 1831-1834)) (1841)
…di akhir November 1833, terjadi gempa besar yang menggoncang daerah Pariaman dan Padang. “Pada malam harinya kami mengalami ketakutan hebat yang membuat kami khawatir akan hidup kami. Bahkan orang pribumi yang paling tua pun tidak pernah mengingat hal seperti itu pernah terjadi”, demikian tulis J.C. Boelhauwer , “Saya dan orang lain tidak dapat tinggal lebih lama di dalam rumah dan bahkan kami tidak dapat berdiri di halaman. Seluruh alam terasa dalam huru-hara, segala sesuatunya terguncang dan jatuh berpecahan. Tidak ada satupun di atas meja atau kursi yang tetap tinggal pada tempatnya. Di beberapa tempat tanah terbelah selebar dua kaki atau lebih. Laut bergolak dan terus bergolak makin dahsyat. Tidak ada perahu di pelabuhan Pariaman yang tetap tertambat di dermaga. Semuanya terhanyut jauh dan esok paginya kami menemukan perahu-perahu itu terpencar dimana-mana. Beberapa hari kemudian, masih terasa beberapa gempa lagi, walau dengan goncangan yang lebih kecil. Di Padang sejumlah rumah batu, termasuk gereja, rusak parah. Gereja malah tak bisa dipakai lagi. Dalam perjalanan saya ke Padang, saya menemukan beberapa parit perlindungan yang rusak berat di pantai”..
“Di Bengkulu, sebagaimana kami dengar kemudian, seluruh dermaga hancur, kecuali kantor bea cukai.”
Tampaknya gempa yang terjadi pada waktu itu, yang juga menimbulkan tsunami, tidak kurang dahsyatnya dari yang terjadi minggu lalu. Sebelum itu, waktu Boelhauwer belum lama berada di Sumatra Barat, telah terjadi pula gempa.
“Pada suatu malam ketika saya bertamu [di rumah seorang pejabat Belanda di Padang—Suryadi] terasalah gempa yang menyebabkan seorang nona yang duduk di atas bangku-bangku akan meluncur ke bahagian lain seandainya tidak lekas dipegang oleh beberapa pemuda. Ada yang cepat memegang lampu dan ada yang memegang gelas-gelas di atas meja. Gempa itu berulang beberapa kali. Itulah gempa yang pertama kali saya alami, seolah-olah kita dibuaikan. Kata orang yang telah mengalami gempa, gempa kali ini adalah musuh yang kuat selama saya berada di Sumatra”, demikian tulis Boelhouwer (ibid.).
6. From [Mueller and Horner, 1855], pp 25-27.
Translated by Maarten Schmidt, Caltech
Earthquakes are often felt at Padang, but rarely of such intensity that they endanger inhabitants. The most powerful earthquake since many years occurred on November 24, 1833, just after 8 p.m., for about 2 minutes. The air was damp, quiet and humid, in moonlight. The oscillating movement of the earth, together with underground shocks and a rattling sound that clearly came from the S.E., made everybody rush out of their houses and created fear in all. One heard everywhere a hard stomping of “rijstblokken” [rice blocks?] and people yelling. Along the river fissures had opened here and there, which then closed again. The sea had repeatedly run up the sloping beach, up to 10 to 12 “voet” [Dutch foot, approximately equal to an English foot] high. All wooden houses creaked and shook enormously; but the stone houses fared worse, with damaged walls, some fell over, and some roofs that collapsed. In some houses, furniture had been thrown from one corner to the other. There was considerable damage but few accidents. Only one native and two cows were lost. Curious is the large area over which the earthquake was noticed. The shaking was felt in Natal, Tanapoeli, Singapore, on the N. coast of Java, in the Lampongs, at Palembang and on Benkoelen [Bengkulu]: so over an area of at least 150,000 sq. miles, or about as large as France. At Benkoelen, the shocks wereheavier with more damage to the beautiful stone buildings, than at Padang. At the beach near Indrapoera the sudden rise in the ocean, which rolled in terrible waves over the low country side, a small village was entirely destroyed where a woman with her child disappeared in the water, while some people found refuge in trees where they stayed until the next morning. Also in parts of inner Sumatra the shocks were extremely violent, among others in the region Rau where just then the Dutch fort Anerongen was besieged by thousands of mutineers who considered this natural phenomenon a favorable sign for their side. The two volcanoes Merapi, in Agam and Korintji [Kerinci], gave at that time some indication of increased activity, though not such that their natural chimneys seemed to contribute to a diminishing and calming down of the underground explosive forces. This was provided by the small volcano Kaba, located in the hinterland of Palembang, between the high volcanoes Dempo and Merapi of Korintji, closer to the Dempo. From the capital Benkoelen the Goenong Kaba lies E.N.E. at 40 geogr. Minutes distance; from Palembang about 2 degress W.S.W. This volcano is only 1500-1800 “voet” (feet) high and has several peaks, among which besides the smoking crater there used to be a small lake, called Talaga Kitjil, probably an inactive caldera filled with rain water. During the earthquake, the Goenoeng Kaba had a terrible eruption, on which occasion the Talaga Kitjil emptied over the low country to the S.E.; a flood that in its path destroyed and swept off everything, jammed up several rivers and caused major destruction in the districts Sindang-Klingi and Sindang-balita. A small village in a valley close to the foot of the mountain, was inundated to a height of 20 feet, at the end leaving a mud layer of 7 feet high, together with uprooted trees, rocks, and the bodies of 36 victims as well as many dead animals. In the two districts there were in total 90 casualties. The water in the river Moesi, near Palembang, was unfit to drink for several weeks due to sulfuric acid. During the night of 24-25th November 1833, 11 more earthquakes were felt and they continued with decreasing strength until the end of the year. The central point of the forces working inside the earth were clearer in the neighborhood of Goenong Kaba, where the shocks and loud underground noises were far and above the heaviest.
7. EARTHQUAKE IN JAVA. The Hague, June 29
The accounts received from Java, to the 26th of February, contain nothing of general interest: but one of the papers gives some particulars of the earthquake in the night of the 24th of November last. “This earthquke which was flet in Java and elsewhere, especially in Sumatra, is ascibed in a report from Palambang to an eruption of the Volcano Bocker(?) Kaba, in Palambang. Besides the damage done by repeated shocks of the earthquake, the effects of an inundation coming from that mountain were most distressing. Between the two principal peaks of the mountain there was a lake, called Telaga Ketjtel (?), which, in consequence of the shocks of the earthquake, inundated the neighbouring districts. The inundation was increased by the overflowing of the river Ager Dinglen(?), the channel of which was choked up by masses of earth and trunks of trees. The hamlet of Talbang Ager Lang was covered with water to the depth of 21 feet, and after the inundation there remained a bed of mud seven feet deep. Thirty-six inhabitants of the hamlet perished. The total number of victims in the districts was 90. Mount Kaba is 50 leagues from Palambang, and yet the water of the great river Moessie (?) [Musi] was not fit to drink for several weeks. An account from Kodal states that on the 2nd of February, during a torrent of rain, part of the mountain of Telo Mejo (?), in the district of Ngassinan(?), on the frontiers of Ansbarawa, had sunk down, by which 12 habitations were buried, and 37 persons lost their lives.
8. Excerpt from letter by Lionel Jackson, Donald Forbes, John Shaw, Vaughn Barrie, GSC Seychelles Tsunami Expedition, Canada, to Irwin Itzkovitch, Canada,7 February 2005
It is our pleasure to inform you that the GSC Indian Ocean Tsunami Expedition to the Republic of Seychelles (RS) returned to Canada this past weekend. We consider our expedition, which was to investigate the tsunami that struck that island archipelago nation on 26 December 2004, an unqualified success.
… We arrived in RS the morning of 22 January and departed the morning of 3 February. We investigated the tsunami and its impact on the two largest granitic islands, Mahé and Praslin, where most of the population of about 80,000 reside.
The tsunami resulted in significant property damage but only two fatalities in RS. Two factors worked in RS’s favor: the tsunami struck during low tide and it was a Sunday so most businesses in the commercial and industrial areas of Victoria, the capital, were closed. These areas were extensively flooded and boats and debris were driven ashore. Furthermore, children were not in school. Had the tsunami struck at high tide on a normal working day, the death toll could have been scores or hundreds.
Lastly, we were able to obtain tidal data recorded during the Krakatoa tsunami of 1883 from the RS National Archives in Victoria and from the 1888 Royal Society report that we examined in the British Library in London. This data set can be compared with the water level records from the 2004 tsunami, which appears to have been larger and more damaging that the Krakatoa event. The archival investigation also uncovered evidence of another tsunami that struck the islands ca. 1833 and may have been comparable to the 2004 event.
9. From the National Archives, Seychelles, via Phil Cummins, Australia, via Lionel Jackson, Canada.
F/2.14 v. 17, item 44. pp 115-116.
Extract from the Mercantile Record and Commercial Gazette, 5 October 1883, which reports extensively on the tsunamis in the Seychelles produced by the eruption of Krakatau in 1883.
… The following report has been kindly forwarded by Mr. H.W. Estridge, Collector of Customs at Mahe: …
I may remark that Mr. Beauchamp D’Offay, aged 67, told me that the same thing
happened 50 years ago. He recollects it well. The tide then went into the houses, was knee deep, and came in with a roar.
Ringkasan: Guncangan gempa terasa sampai 5 menit di Bengkulu dan sekitar 3 menit di Padang. Guncangan terasa sampai sejauh Singapura dan Jawa. Terjadi tsunami besar yang merusakkan wilayah Bengkulu, Pulau Cinco, Indrapura, Padang, dan Pariaman. Laporan menyebutkan tidak ada korban mati di Bengkulu dan hanya satu yang mati di Padang.
Guncangan: Guncangan sangat kuat di wilayah sepanjang pantai dari Bengkulu sampai Pariaman dan juga di Pulau-pulau Pagai. Di Pariaman goncangan demikian kuat sehingga tidak ada orang yang bisa berdiri. Kerusakan besar terjadi di Padang dan Bengkulu, tapi yang lebih parah adalah di Bengkulu, dimana seluruh struktur bangunan rusak berat. Benteng dan menara harus di hancurkan total. Di Padang, rumah-rumah kayu tidak rusak tapi banyak rumah dari batu tembok rusak parah. Di bagian Sumatra bagian timur kerusakan bangunan dilaporkan sampai ke Kota Palembang. Rekahan tanah selebar 2 kaki terjadi di Pariaman, dan juga banyak retakan-retakan tanah di sepanjang pantai antara Pariaman dan Padang dan di pinggiran sungai di Padang.
Tsunami: Tsunami. Di Padang banyak kapal yang terbawa hanyut bersama jangkar yang ditambatkan, dan sebagian hilang. Di pantai hempasan tsunami mencapai ketinggian 3-4 meter. Peta kuno Kota Padang pada tahun 1828 memperlihatkan perumahan yang masih sedikit di sepanjang pantai, dan pusat kota masih berda di wilayah bagian Utara sungai, sampai sekitar 1 kilometer ke arah darat. Dermaga dan bangunan pelabuhan di Bengkulu tersapu ludes oleh tsunami, dan beberapa kapal terhempas ke darat. Di Pariaman, dilaporkan tsunami didahului oleh surutnya air laut. Gelombang menghempaskan kapal-kapal dari tempat tambatnya ke samping kiri dan kanan. Di Pulau Cinco, gelombang tsunami menyapu ke darat menyapu beberapa rumah dan orang. Di Indrapura, di utara Kota Bengkulu, tsunami yang dahsyat menerjang daratan membanjari daratan rendah. Ada satu kampung yang tersapu bersih oleh tsunami. Satu orang ibu beserta anaknya terbawa tsunami dan hilang, tapi banyak orang yang bisa menyelamatkan diri dengan memanjat pohon dan kemudian menunggu sampai pagi. Tsunami yang sampai di Pulau Seychelles yang berada sekitar 5000 km dari pantai barat Sumatra di lautan Hindia tingginya sama seperti yang terjadi pada waktu tsunami Aceh-Andaman tahun 2004.
Gejala gunung api : Dua gunung api, Marapi dan Kerinci, memperlihatkan kenikan aktifitas setelah gempa. Runtuhnya dam alam di puncak Gunung Kaba menyebabkan banjir di lembah-lembah di lereng sebelah tenggaranya. Banjir bandang ini menyebabkan hilangnya 90 orang penduduk. Satu kampung tenggelam oleh banjir yang dalamnya sampai 20 kaki (~6 meter) dan kemudian meninggalkan timbunan Lumpur sedlam 7 kaki (2 meter lebih).
Interpretasi : Lamanya goncangan dari gempa dan luas cakupan serta hebatnya kerusakan yang ditimbulkan mengindikasikan bahwa sumber gempanya sangat besar. Fakta bahwa kerusakan lebih parah terjadi di Bengkulu daripada di Padang adalah indikasi yang kuat bahwa sumber gempanya lebih dekat ke Bengkulu, artinya berda di bawah Kep.Pagai tapi tidak sampai ke Siberut (pulau yang berhadapan dengan Padang). Kerusakan akibat tsunami juga dilaporkan lebih besar/parah yang terjadi di Bengkulu – Indrapura daripada di Padang. Memang dilaporkan bahwa kapal-kapal di Pariaman terlepas dari tambatannya, tapi deskripsinya menunjukan bahwa gelombang airlaut tidak sampai melewati dam alam di pinggiran sungai seperti halnya tsunami yang terjadi pada tahun 1797.
Meskipun demikian catatan sejarah menunjukkan bahwa gelombang laut mencapai ketinggian 3-4 meter di pantai Padang, yang tentunya cukup untuk menyapu wilayah pantai sampai beberapa ratus meter ke darat. Tapi kelihatannya tidak melanda banyak perumahan yang masih jarang seperti terlihat di peta tahun 1828
Gambar. 3. Peta Kota Padang dari tahun 1781 – 2005 digambar kembali dari arsip peta kuno [diambil dari Natawidjaja et al., 2006].
Catatan seorang pedagang asal Pariaman,Sumatera Barat
Muhammad Saleh Datuak Urang Kayo Basa, Riwajat hidoep dan perasaian saja (huruf Jawi) (1914).
Pedagang terkaya Pariaman pada abad ke-19 yang kapal-kapal dagangnya berlayar sampai ke Susoh, dalam momoirnya, menulis bahwa di bulan Februari 1861 terjadi lagi gempa hebat, dengan episentrum di sekitar pulau Nias, yang juga menimbulkan tsunami: “…pasar Singkil tenggelam, terbenam karena gelora naik yang disertai dengan gempa bumi. Di laut dekat Tarumun [Trumon, Aceh Barat—Suryadi] Gosong Djawi-djawi…[yang] penuh ditanami orang nyiur kini hilang lindang dengan tidak meninggalkan kesan”, demikian ditulis oleh . Salleh menceritakan bahwa banyak orang di Singkil dan daerah sekitarnya mengungsi ke Ujung Bawang. Makam Syekh Daud Sunur, pengarang SyairSunur yang terkenal, di dekat pasar Singkil juga habis disapu tsunami.
Dari catatan sejarah dan folklor tersebut menjadi bukti bahwa Pulau Sumatera memang sejak zaman kuno sudah menjadi ‘langganan’ gempa.Sumber tulisan :
- Gempabumi dan Tsunami di Sumatra dan Upaya Untuk Mengembangkan Lingkungan Hidup Yang Aman Dari Bencana Alam ; Danny Hilman Natawidjaja
- Hidup Di Negeri ‘Langganan’ Gempa; DR.Suryadi,Peneliti Sejarah Leiden University