Magnitude 5.8 quake rattles Indonesia's West Papua

Magnitude 5.8 quake rattles Indonesia's West Papua
PHOTO: USGS

JAKARTA - A magnitude 5.8 earthquake rattled the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua on Friday (Dec 28), the United States Geological Survey said, causing nervous residents to panic, about a week after a tsunami killed hundreds farther west in the archipelago.

Indonesian authorities measured the quake at a magnitude of 6.1 and said it was "felt quite strongly for several seconds".

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The region in Papua, which makes up half the island known as New Guinea, is sparsely populated.

The epicentre of the quake was on land near the city of Manokwari at a depth of 55km. The Indonesian meteorological agency said it did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami.

Last Saturday, a tsunami caused by the collapse of part of a volcano crater killed at least 430 people when waves of up to 5m smashed into the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra.

Tsunami kills at least 168 in Indonesia, nearly 600 injured

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    A tsunami following a volcanic eruption killed at least 168 people when it slammed without warning into popular beaches around Indonesia's Sunda Strait on Saturday night, cutting a swathe of destruction and triggering mass panic as it swept inland.

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    Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm (1430 GMT) following the eruption of a volcano known as the "child" of the legendary Krakatoa, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

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    Search and rescue teams were scouring rubble for survivors, with 168 confirmed dead, 745 people injured and 30 reported missing across three regions, he said.

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    Dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into an open-air concert by pop group "Seventeen" -- hurling band members off the stage and then flooding into the audience.

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    Images of the aftermath of the tsunami in coastal areas show a trail of uprooted trees and debris strewn across beaches. A tangled mess of corrugated steel roofing, timber and rubble was dragged inland at Carita beach, a popular day-tripping spot on the west coast of Java.

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    Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.

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