Children flee Indonesian quake
A powerful earthquake hit waters off eastern Indonesia early yesterday, sending residents and schoolchildren running into the streets in panic.
Authorities said the temblor did not have the potential to trigger a tsunami and there were no reports of serious damage or injuries.
The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.6 quake hit 83km off Papua province. It was centered just 30km beneath the ocean floor. Children in the town of Manokwan, closest to the epicentre, were seen running from their schools screaming, less than two weeks after another big quake sparked fears of a tsunami.
“I ran out of my house with my kids as soon as I felt the tremors,” said Pinta Uli, a mother of two, adding that they saw one street lamp topple to the ground.
The wall in front of a government office also collapsed.
Suharjono, an official with the country’s meteorology and geophysics agency, said that no tsunami warning was issued and that there were no reports of serious damage or injuries.
Indonesia, straddling a series of fault lines and volcanoes, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’.
A giant earthquake off the country’s coast on December 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean in which 230,000 people were killed. Half of the victims were in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh.