Panic as strong earthquake hits Indonesia's Papua
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong earthquake hit Indonesia's eastern province of Papua on Wednesday, causing panic among residents, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2, struck at 8:42 a.m. local time Wednesday (11:42 p.m. GMT Tuesday), said Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.
The agency said the quake was centered about 34 kilometers (21 miles) southwest of the mountainous town of Oksibil at a depth of 57 kilometers (35 miles).
It shocked residents in Oksibil, which is located south of Papua's provincial capital, Jayapura.
"We all ran out from homes," said a housewife who identified herself only as Desy. "This is the strongest quake I ever felt."
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.