Series of strong earthquakes rocked Indonesia

indonesia earthquake

A series of strong earthquakes rocked Indonesia’s West Papua province on Sunday, killing four people, injuring several others and destroying more than 100 buildings.

Terrified residents close to the epicenter in Papua rushed from their homes in search of higher ground shortly after the first 7.6-magnitude quake struck at 4:43 a.m., the Associated Press reported.

The first jolt was followed by dozens of aftershocks. Electricity was knocked out in the area.

One of the quakes was felt as far away as Australia and sent small tsunamis into Japan’s south-eastern coast. Residents in Manokwari, the main city in Papua province, spent the night outdoors fearing a tsunami.

Local officials drove through the streets warning people not to return to structures that might be vulnerable if an aftershock hit.

Among the dead was a 10-year-old girl, identified as Yolanda Mandofi, whose head was crushed, local hospital director Hengky Tewu told The Jakarta Post.

Papua is among the nation’s least developed areas. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common in the region.

A great earthquake off western Indonesia caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people, more than half of them on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Image: AP