JAKARTA, Indonesia – A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit a remote part of eastern Indonesia on Saturday, causing residents to run outside in panic, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, an official said.
The temblor struck about 75 kilometres (47 miles) underground in Papua province, according to U.S. Geological Survey. It occurred in a mountainous area, about 56 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Tolikara, said Ali Imran, an official at the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Jakarta. There was no tsunami warning issued due to its location, he added.
“The quake very strong. It scared us … my wife was screaming, my children were crying,” said Yosef Roa of Tolikara, adding there was no damage around his neighbourhood where most houses are simple and made of wood in the traditional style.
The quake was felt across many parts of Papua, including the capital, Jayapura, and the copper town of Timika and Wamena, another town in the mountains, Imran said. Residents ran from their houses, and many remained outside fearing aftershocks.
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.