More than 60 people were injured and 200 houses damaged Friday when a powerful earthquake rocked remote eastern Indonesia, a disaster agency official said, and warned the number of victims could rise.
People were woken up and ran screaming out of their homes when the 6.6-magnitude undersea quake struck in the Papua region at about 1:00 am (1600 GMT), not far from the coastal city of Sorong.
Seventeen people were so far known to have sustained serious injuries and 45 to have suffered minor injuries, while 200 houses were damaged, said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
Map showing the epicenter of 6.6-magnitude quake that hit Indonesia Friday. afp
No deaths have so far been reported. The quake also caused blackouts in Sorong and patients were evacuated from a hospital in the city.
“We are still collecting data, and we expect the number of victims and damage to increase,” Nugroho said in a statement.
The US Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 6.6 and said its epicenter was at a depth of 24 kilometers (14 miles).
Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
In July, a teenage boy fell into a river and died, and several buildings were damaged when a 7.0-magnitude quake rocked Papua.
A huge undersea quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami that engulfed Aceh province on western Sumatra island, killing more than 170,000 people in Indonesia and tens of thousands more in other countries with coasts on the Indian Ocean.