One person missing, buildings damaged after Papua quake

One person was missing and several buildings damaged after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake hit Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province on Tuesday, an official from the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said.

The quake was felt strongly for four seconds by residents in Papua, prompting them to rush out of their homes, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

Two houses, a warehouse and a hospital suffered minor damage while a person was missing after being swept away by a river, Sutopo said. He said information from isolated areas in jungle-clad Papua was still being sought.

The Metereology, Geophysics and Climatology Agency said the quake struck at 4.41 am with the epicentre 75 kilometres south-east of Memberamo Tengah regency.

No tsunami warning was issued after the quake.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes as it sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire.” A massive earthquake off Sumatra island in December 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in a dozen countries, mostly in the Indonesia’s Aceh province.

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