JAYAPURA (AFP) – At least four people were killed yesterday when an earthquake struck the capital of Indonesia’s breakaway eastern region of Papua and crumpled a waterfront restaurant, officials said.
The 5.1-magnitude quake hit around 1.28pm (0628 GMT) on land just southwest of Jayapura city at a depth of 22 kilometres, the United States (US) Geological Survey said.
“A cafe collapsed and four people died there. It fell into the sea,” head of the Jayapura disaster mitigation agency Asep Khalid said in a press release.
Residents in Jayapura said people scrambled for safety, running from houses and shops when the quake struck.
Putri Kurita, 30, bolted for the exit at another restaurant fearing it would collapse.
“I was having lunch when things suddenly swayed, the jolt got much stronger,” she told AFP.
The country’s meteorological agency gave a higher magnitude of 5.2 and warned of potential aftershocks.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.
The region affected by yesterday’s quake is home to a decades-long insurgency waged by rebels seeking independence from Indonesia.