3 pulled out alive after quake demolishes hotel PDF Afdrukken
Bron: nzherald.co.nz AP 4:00AM Monday Jan 05, 2009

MANOKWARI - A hotel in Indonesia's West Papua province collapsed when the second of two powerful earthquakes hit the region yesterday. Three people were pulled alive from the rubble.

 

The three guests who had been staying at the Mutiara hotel in the city of Manokwari were taken to hospital. No other hotel staff or guests were believed to be trapped or missing.

"Those three hotel guests returned to their room after the first big quake. They failed to evacuate after the second powerful quake struck and got trapped in the hotel rubble," said a hotel employee identified as Harun.

The first 7.6-magnitude quake struck at 4.43am (8.43am NZ time), about 150km northwest of Manokwari, and was followed almost three hours later by a 7.5 magnitude aftershock, the US Geological Survey said.

At least three people died in the quakes and dozens more were injured. Powerlines were cut and buildings badly damaged. Three bodies were found including a 10-year-old girl, hospital director Hengky Tewu said.

 

A further 19 patients at the hospital were treated for broken bones, cuts, crushed fingers and other injuries.

Papua police chief Major General Bagus Ekodanto said he received reports that a hotel and rice warehouse had been "destroyed" but he did not know if anyone had died. Attempts were being made to search for victims.

Electricity went off and people in the coastal city of 167,000 fled their homes in the dawn dark, fearing a tsunami, said Hasim Rumatiga, a health official.

The Indonesian Meteorology and Seismology Agency issued a tsunami alert, but it was revoked within an hour after it was determined the epicentre was on land.

Tsunamis of 10cm to 40cm hit Japan's southeast coast but no damage was reported.

"My son's head was wounded when a cabinet fell on him," said Ferry Dau, a father of two who said the walls in his house were cracked. "It was very strong and scary. The power and phones went dead."

Rahmat Priyono, a supervisor at the National Earthquake Centre, had no early information on casualties or damage. "But since the epicentres were on land, they have a potential to cause significant damage."

Papua, about 2955km east of the capital, Jakarta, is some of the nation's least developed territory. A low-level insurgency has simmered in the resource-rich region for years and it is off limits to foreign reporters.

Indonesia straddles a chain of fault lines and volcanoes known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to seismic activity. A huge quake off western Indonesia caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed about 230,000 people.