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Indonesia Earthquake

Indonesia quake kills five, sends thousands fleeing

Nelson Alcantara  Jan 05, 2009

Indonesian officials have confirmed that at least five people were killed in the Indonesian province of West Papua where a series of earthquake killed the five people, injured hundreds and sent thousands fleeing their homes.

The first earthquake hit at 4:43 am local time on Monday and measured 7.2 on the Richter scale then a second earthquake measuring 7.6 hit at 7:33 am local time, followed by over a dozen aftershocks, according to the Indonesian National Meteorological Geophysical and Climatology Agency.

The United Nations said it has sent a joint United Nations assessment mission. According to official data released by the provincial disaster coordinating unit in West Papua, four of those killed were in Manokwari, which is situated 95 kilometers from the epicenter of the quakes, and one person in Sorong.

According to the UN, some 250 people were injured, while more than 800 houses, 34 government buildings, four schools, and 11 places of worship were damaged. The Indonesian National Meteorological Geophysical and Climatology Agency has predicted that aftershocks will continue in the next three to seven days.

An estimated 14,000 people who fled their damaged homes or left their houses fearing more earthquakes or aftershocks have sought accommodation in shelters for displaced people, the UN said.

According to the UN, the Indonesian government has reportedly transported relief supplies, including food, medical supplies, tarpaulins, water purification equipment and generators to the affected areas.

‚ÄúUN agencies in the provincial capital Jayapura have met to consider what assistance could be provided to local authorities in the affected areas if required,‚ÄĚ said the UN in a release.

The assessment mission is being carried out by the UN Development Program (UNDP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The series of earthquake prompted officials to issue a tsunami alert, but it was withdrawn within an hour.

Indonesia quake kills five, sends thousands fleeing
Photo by AP

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