Quake kills 23 in Indonesia

A strong earthquake struck Indonesia's eastern province of Papua early on Friday, killing at least 23 people and the toll is likely to grow, officials have said.

    The dead included at least four children from one month to three years

    They said over 100 people had been injured in the quake, which measured 6.9 on the Richter scale.

    "According to the latest news in the information centre, 23 people died and the number is still growing," said Muhamad Son Ani, district police chief in the coastal town of Nabire.

    "This is only the report from the city, not counting those outside the city because communication lines are dead," he added.

    Another police official said t

    he victims included a policeman on duty at the local parliament building in Nabire.

    Hospital damaged

    Son Ani said 62 injured people had been treated and sent home, 30 were in a military hospital and about 60 in a local hospital.

    The local hospital itself had been badly damaged.

    Nabire, with a population of about 26,000, is about 7km from where Indonesian earthquake centre officials placed the quake's epicentre.

    "Residents are still afraid and worried that there will be other aftershocks because we can still feel the shaking. People are setting up tents outside their houses"

    Muhamad Son Ani,
    Police chief of Nabire

    B Rumbiak, Nabire meteorology station chief, said that there had been 11 aftershocks. 

    "The victims died because of fallen houses and buildings which could not endure earthquakes. And it was quite a heavy quake," said Fauzi, coordinator of the national earthquake centre.

    Son Ani said: "Residents are still afraid and worried that there will be other aftershocks because until now we can still feel the shaking. People are setting up tents outside their houses."

    He said the dead included at least four children from one month to three years. 

    Officials said the quake had also damaged some roads in Indonesia's eastern-most province, and Nabire airport had been closed due to a crack in the landing strip.

    Largest quake

    France's earth sciences observatory in Strasbourg said it was the largest quake measured in the region since 2000.

    Rugged but resource-rich Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, is 3,000km east of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. Papua is mountainous or jungle-clad and sparsely populated. Roads are scarce and many areas can only be reached by air.

    T

    he vast archipelago that makes up Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, stretches along a geologically active area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months