Earthquake strikes West-Papua, five killed (Roundup) PDF Afdrukken

Jakarta - A series of powerful earthquakes rattled the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring dozens of others, officials said.


bron: M & C
Asia-Pacific News

Jan 4, 2009, 7:48 GMT


The quake hit at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres at 4:43 am (1943 GMT Saturday), about 135 kilometres north-west of Manokwari, the provincial capital of West Papua, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.

An aftershock measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre on land about 76 kilometres north-west of Manokwari, struck about two hours later but triggered no tsunami, the agency said.

The US Geological Survey put the initial quake at 7.6 Richter scale and the strongest aftershock at 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Thousands of residents including children and the elderly could be seen thronging the roads of the blacked-out Manokwari town. Around 1,000 people remained outdoors at a field near the local military district headquarters by late Sunday afternoon, although the seismologists assured that tsunami danger was unlikely to occur, local media reports said.

Two three-story hotels, the Mutiara and Kalidingin, collapsed following the second quake, officials said.

'A number of buildings, including three hotels, a warehouse building, were collapsed after the quakes. So far, at least five people were killed,' said Panji, from the National Disaster Coordinating Agency.

Military and police were called up for rescue operations, said Panji, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he ordered three members of his cabinet to fly to Manokwari to help handling emergency response.

An official at Manokwari general hospital confirmed that a 10-year-old girl was among those killed, and at least 26 others people were injured, two of them in intensive care, adding that three others were pulled alive from the rubble at Mutiara Hotel.

The series of earthquakes also forced authorities to temporary shut down of Manokwari's Rendai Airport for security and safety concerns.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, sits on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire,' the edge of a tectonic plate prone to seismic upheaval.

A major earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck in December 2004, leaving more than 170,000 people dead or missing in Indonesia's Aceh province and around 500,000 homeless.