Home International Strong quake, flood hits Indonesia’s Papua province

Strong quake, flood hits Indonesia’s Papua province

By NNN-Antara

Jakarta : A strong 6.2-magnitude quake struck Indonesia’s Papua province on Monday, damaging about 25 houses and sparking fires but causing no human casualties, the meteorological agency, officials and residents said.

The earthquake was centred eight kilometres (five miles) northwest of the town of Manokwari, prompting residents to flee their homes and other buildings, many clutching belongings, ElShinta radio said.

Local policeman Ari said that some 20 floating houses belonging to fishermen had caught fire following the quake.

“The houses were made of wood, that’s why they were easily burned. The shakes may have caused stoves to fall which caused fires,” he said.

He said that about five kilometres away, a number of houses, hotels and taller buildings suffered cracks in their walls, adding that a church under construction had partly collapsed.

Ari said at least five houses had been burned in another area of town.

Anton Wesnusa, Manokwari’s district secretary, said on Elshinta radio that the damage was “very limited” and daily activities had resumed as normal.

The state-run Antara news agency cited resident Nurul Damarini as saying that thousands of people living along the coast had grabbed their belongings and fled to higher ground, fearing a tsunami.

The United States Geological Survey measured the quake at 5.8 and said it occurred at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles) at 12:12 (0312 GMT).

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where the meeting of continental plates causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In Papua’s JAYAPURA, massive floods triggered by torrential rains in the Papuan district of Yapen Waropen on Saturday swept some 27 houses and two bridges into the sea and forced thousands of people in the district town of Serui to evacuate.

Contacted by phone here on Monday, Yapen Waropen Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Imam Setiawan said at least 1,211 families had been evacuated. There has been no report of fatalities so far.

Two bridges and 27 houses in Matembu village were swept away into the sea by the flood waters which also inundated dozens of other houses in Angkaisera and Anatorei villages.

Imam Setiawan said the flood disaster in Yapen Waropen was the biggest and the first of its kind due in part to massive irresponsible illegal loggings and sand mining activities in the district.

He added that the flood victims whose houses were destroyed were in desperate need of logistics and makeshift shelters from the local government.

Meanwhile, in BANDUNG, WEST JAVA, an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale shook Tasikmalaya, West Java province, late Sunday.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located at 9.56 degrees southern latitude and
107.44 degrees eastern longitude, around 262 kilometers southwest of Tasikmalaya, according to Head of the Bandung meteorological and geophysics office Hendri Subakti.

“The quake`s epicenter was located in the middle of the sea at a depth of only 10 km below he sea level, but it did not have the potential to trigger a subsequent tsunami,” Hendri said.