JAKARTA: A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Papua region on Saturday, sending panicked residents running from their homes and schools, officials said.
Authorities said there was no threat of a tsunami, and that the worst-hit area was the town of Ransiki in western Papua, where students attending morning classes ran from school buildings that shook for around a minute.
“We’ve had reports of mostly superficial damage to buildings, but two houses have caved and a church wall has collapsed,” Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) official Yulson Sineri, told AFP.
“There are so far no reports of victims, but there has been some damage to buildings in Ransiki,” he said.
The quake struck at 10:16 am (0116 GMT) at a depth of 30 kilometres (19 miles), 83 kilometres southeast of Manokwari, according to the USGS.
Authorities said the quake was felt in various parts of the West Papua province, on the western tip of New Guinea Island.
The BMKG reported the quake’s magnitude at 6.8, with a depth of 10 kilometres.
A hotel receptionist at the Mansinam Beach Resort in Manokwari reported a minute of shaking, but said she saw no damage.
“All our guests panicked and ran out of the building, but they went back after the quake was over and everything is back to normal as far as I can see,” Anita, who goes by one name, told AFP.
The Papua region was struck by two mild aftershocks, while a 6.1-magnitude quake hit off Sumatra Island, with no reports of damage or casualties.
A massive quake struck off Sumatra earlier this month, in which 10 Indonesians died, mostly from heart attacks and shock.
The 8.6-magnitude quake triggered an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert which caused little damage and few casualties.