Panic as strong earthquake hits Indonesia's Papua
The earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2, struck at 8:42 a.m. local time Wednesday (11:42 p.m. GMT Tuesday), said Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.
The agency said the quake was centered about 21 miles southwest of the mountainous town of Oksibil at a depth of 35 miles.
It shocked residents in Oksibil, which is located south of Papua's provincial capital, Jayapura.
"We all ran out from homes," said a housewife who identified herself only as Desy. "This is the strongest quake I ever felt."
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.