Bengkulu lies near the Sunda Fault and is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. In June 2000 a quake caused damage and the death of at least 100 people. A recent report predicts that Bengkulu is "at risk of inundation over the next few decades from undersea earthquakes predicted along the coast of Sumatra"A series of earthquakes struck Bengkulu during September, 2007, killing 13 people.
In this town lies the only state university in the province of Bengkulu, the Universitas Bengkulu (UNIB). Many students from different areas of neighboring provinces have studied here.
Each year, in the Muslim month of Muharam, Bengkulu hosts the ceremony Tabot. The two centuries old ritual was made by artisans from Madras in India for the construction of Fort Marlborough. It celebrates the martyrdom of Imam Shiite Hussein’s death at the Battle of Karbala. The Tabot is an opportunity for a grand procession, accompanied by songs and dances performed by young girls.