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Two earthquakes hit the Jayapura region of Papua




Jakarta (Antara) – Two earthquakes jolted northwest Jayapura district in the Indonesian province of Papua on Wednesday, but did not cause a tsunami.

The first recorded earthquake of 5.5 magnitude struck Jayapura at 02:09 a.m. local time while a follow-up, recorded at 3.6 magnitude, jolted the area at around 06:18 a.m. local time.

The two quakes did not cause a tsunami, and there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage following the earthquakes, according to the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG).

The epicenter of the first earthquake was about 60 kilometers northwest of Jayapura at a depth of 10 kilometers while the epicenter of the aftershock was about 66 kilometers from the area at a depth of 26 kilometers.

The agency reported that those in Jayapura and Yalimo districts felt the earthquake.

Earthquakes regularly strike different parts of Indonesia as the country is located on the Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where many tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

Like many other provinces in the archipelago, Papua and West Papua is also prone to earthquakes. Strong earthquakes have repeatedly struck certain parts of Papua during the past decade.

On January 13, 2021, for example, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck the southeastern Warubin region of Papua, even though it did not have the capacity to generate a tsunami.

On January 18, 2020, a tectonic earthquake of 6.0 magnitude shook Jayapura and Sarmi regions in this eastern Indonesian province.

One of the deadly earthquakes that rocked Papua occurred in Serui, Yapin Island and other coastal areas, where many local residents lost their lives and many homes were damaged.

According to the BMKG-Sorong office, about 1,040 earthquakes struck various parts of West Papua in 2020, with 27 earthquakes jolting the province in September alone.

The agency’s chief, Rolly Hermawan, recently said that the mean scores of the earthquakes that rocked West Papua so hard in September 2020 were at three and four.

The Sorong region is prone to earthquakes because it is located on the Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire. Its weakness is also a result of the “Sorong Fault”, which runs through the fault zone of Sulawesi Island, which caused the Palu-Majin earthquake.

The Sorong region has been repeatedly hit by powerful earthquakes over the past decades. In 2009, for example, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Manokwari region and triggered a tsunami in Ransky town.

Hermawan said that on September 26, 2015, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake jolted Sorong Tanjung Kaswari.

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