Learn about the longest earthquake in the world


A recent study revealed that the longest recorded earthquake in world history lasted for 32 years and may have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. The earthquake occurred off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and may "be" fatal in 1861. Researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore identified the world's longest earthquake and called it the slow slip event or slow quake.

This occurs when a fault line moves in the Earth's crust but not fast enough for an earthquake to be noticeable. According to National Geographic, study author Emma Hill said, I wouldn't believe we'd find a slow event for so long, but we discovered it here.

Researchers believe the slow slip event began off the coast of Sumatra in 1829 and moved slowly for more than 30 years before ending in a major disaster. The scientists published a study in the journal Nature Geoscience explaining how they detected signs of a decades-old earthquake and linked it to the Great Sumatra earthquake of 1861. The 8.5-magnitude earthquake triggered a giant tsunami that devastated more than 300 miles (about 500 km) of the Indonesian coast, likely killing thousands of people.

Residents as far away as Malaysia reported feeling tremors. The aftershocks continued to rock the area for another seven months. Scientists determined the slow quake occurred by studying coral reefs along the giant Sundra fault line on the seafloor near the Indonesian island of Simulu.

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