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Indonesia hit by another powerful earthquake, killing 34 NABIRE - A powerful earthquake shook Indonesia's West Papua on Saturday, hampering rescue efforts a day after a major temblor in the region killed at least 34 people and injured hundreds. The earthquake on Friday devastated the town of Nabire in Indonesia's Papua province. But officials in Jakarta said Saturday they did not expect the death toll to rise further.
The U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 for Saturday's quake, which occurred near Nabire, while Geoscience Australia said it was magnitude 7.2. Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics agency, however, recorded the aftershock at 6.2. Seismologists said they believed the discrepancy in magnitudes was due to differences in the calibration of equipment and methods used.
"The event was shallow, occurring within the earth's crust and would have been felt over a wide area and caused further damage to yesterday's event," Geoscience Australia said in a statement. Survivors in Nabire gave harrowing accounts of Friday's quake, which measured magnitude 6.9. Itje Wanaha, a nurse at the local hospital, said a total of 34 people had died including a mother and her 2-year-old child, who were crushed under a cupboard and piles of rubble.
"It was the biggest earthquake I've ever felt in my entire life," Wanaha said. "I'm really traumatized." "Everything crashed on the floor. I ran out praying for my life. The land shook as if it was the sea with huge waves," said Wanaha, whose leg was injured by falling furniture. On Saturday, residents of Nabire, a town of about 26,000 people, cleared their houses of debris. They moved fallen trees that were blocking roads.
Many said they feared the shocks had weakened their homes, which would eventually cave in. At the local hospital, plaster and other debris from cracked walls smashed medical equipment. Hospital workers treated the injured - including children - under makeshift tents outside the building. The tarmac at one end of the runway at Nabire airport was badly cracked, preventing bigger planes from landing and slowing down relief efforts.
Two pipelines at a petrochemical storage depot nearby reportedly have ruptured, but no leaks were detected. Arif Sukanto, an official from the National Coordinating Board for the Management of Disaster in Jakarta gave a different death toll, saying only 28 people died. "It takes a while for casualty data to come in as communication lines are very bad. But, we don't expect a significant jump in the number of deaths," Sukanto said.
He said houses in the region were mostly built from wood, bamboo and thatch, and it was unlikely that victims were trapped under debris. Welfare Minister Jusuf Kalla and Papua governor Jacob Solossa inspected the area late Saturday and delivered food, blankets and medicine to victims. The officials also felt several strong aftershocks when their plane landed.
Nabire is on the northern coast of Papua, 2,000 miles northeast of Jakarta. The province, formerly known as Irian Jaya, occupies the western half of New Guinea island. The quake reportedly damaged or destroyed up to 500 houses in Nabire and the nearby towns of Enarotali and Manokwari. Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands, is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries.



Posted in Earthquake @ 07 February 2004 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

indahnesia.com lists all earthquakes that occur in Indonesia. For your convenience we display them in a list and a Google Map. It is as accurate and recent as you can imagine as we check for updates every few minutes. If an earthquake occurs in Indonesia, this is the place to check it out in the first place.






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