Mentawai Islands Regency
|Mentawai Islands Regency
|— Regency —|
|• Regent||Edison Saleleubaja|
|• Total||6,011.35 km2 (2,321.00 sq mi)|
|• Density||13/km2 ( 33/sq mi)|
|Time zone||WIB (UTC+7)|
The Mentawai Islands are a chain of about seventy islands and islets off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. Siberut (4,030 km²) is the largest of the islands. The other major islands are Sipura, North Pagai (Pagai Utara) and South Pagai (Pagai Selatan). The islands lie approximately 150 km off the Sumatran coast, across the Mentawai Strait. The indigenous inhabitants of the islands are known as the Mentawai people. The Mentawai Islands have become a noted destination for surfing.
The Mentawai Islands have been administered as a regency within the West Sumatra (Sumatera Barat) province since 1999. The regency seat is Tua Pejat, located on the island of Sipura. Padang, the capital of the province, lies on the Sumatran mainland opposite Siberut. The regency is divided in ten subdistricts (kecamatan), from north to south these comprise:
- Siberut Utara (North Siberut)
- Siberut Barat (West Siberut)
- Siberut Tengah (Mid Siberut)
- Siberut Selatan (South Siberut)
- Siberut Barat Daya (Southwest Siberut)
- Sipora Utara (North Sipura)
- Sipora Selatan (South Sipura)
- Sikakap (Sikakap - town on North Pagai)
- Pagai Utara (North Pagai)
- Pagai Selatan (South Pagai)
The islands have been separated from Sumatra since the mid-Pleistocene period, which has allowed at least twenty endemic species to develop amongst its flora and fauna. This includes five endemic primates: the Mentawai or Kloss Gibbon (Hylobates klossii), Mentawai Macaque (Macaca pagensis), Siberut Macaque ("Macaca siberu"), Mentawai leaf-monkey (Presbytis potenziani), and snub-nosed monkey (Simias concolor). Some areas of the Mentawai Islands rain forest ecoregion are protected, such as the Siberut National Park. Red Junglefowl and the Crab-eating macaque are also native.
Seismic activity 
The Mentawai Islands lie above the Sunda megathrust, a seismically active zone responsible for many great earthquakes. This megathrust runs along the southwestern side of Sumatra island, forming the interface between the Eurasian Plate and Indo-Australian Plate.
Earthquake and tsunami activity has been high since the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. In 1833, the region was hit with an earthquake, possibly similar in size to the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake; another large earthquake struck in 1797. On October 25, 2010, an earthquake in southern Sumatra led to a deadly tsunami that devastated villages in South and North Pagai.
See also 
- Mentawai ethnic group
- Indonesia Great Earthquakes
- "Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Kill 113, Merapi Volcano Eruptions Hours Later". News article. politiktimes.com. October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- Anthropology of the Mentawai Islands
- Native Planet: The Mentawai
- "Mentawai Islands rain forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- Surf Aid International