At least four people died after an earthquake hit the capital of the Indonesian province of Papua on Thursday, destroying a seaside cafe. The magnitude 5.1 tremor was felt at 1:28 pm local time (0628 GMT), with the epicenter south of the capital Jayapura, at a depth of 22 km, the US Geological Survey said.
“The cafe collapsed and four people died … fell into the sea,” said the head of the Jayapura Disaster Management Agency, Asib Khalid. After the earthquake, the people of Jayapura fled their homes and shops. “I was eating when suddenly everything started to shake and became stronger,” said Putri Kurita, 30, who ran from another restaurant when the earthquake hit.
Authorities said the bodies of four victims were found in a cafe in Jayapura, and divers were looking for possible survivors. They added that houses, buildings and medical facilities were also damaged, and some patients were taken from the city hospital to a nearby square.
Indonesia is frequently subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean basin where tectonic plates collide.
Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said on Thursday that nearly 1,079 earthquakes had been recorded in and around Jayapura since Jan. 2.
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