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article imageMagnitude 6.6 earthquake hits off Indonesia's Irian Jaya

By Karen Graham     Sep 25, 2015 in Environment
Jakarta - A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's Irian Jaya early on Friday, local time, damaging buildings and homes, sending frightened residents fleeing, including patients in a local hospital. A number of people have been injured.
On its website, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake struck at 12:53 a.m. local time, and was centred 28 kilometres (17 miles) north of Sorong, a town in Indonesia's West Papua province. It occurred at a depth of 24 kilometres (15 miles).
M6.6 - 27km N of Sorong  Indonesia
M6.6 - 27km N of Sorong, Indonesia
Irian Jaya encompasses the western part of the island of Papua, which Indonesia shares with the Nation of Papua New Guinea, says The Washington Post.
Around 39 people in Sorong were injured, as hundreds of people fled their homes, with most of the injuries involving broken bones, said Petrus Korisano from the local disaster mitigation agency in Sorong. He added that at least 260 houses and buildings were damaged, according to CBC News on Friday.
The panic extended as far away as Manokwari city, 315 kilometres (196 miles) to the west of the epicenter, where hundreds of patients in a hospital had to be evacuated. Budi Waluyo, with Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, said the underwater earthquake does not pose a tsunami risk.
Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago
Made up of thousands of volcanic islands, Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country, with an estimated 255 million people. It is also the most populous Muslim-majority country.
Because of Indonesia's location along the edges of the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates, known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire," the country has numerous volcanoes and is prone to earthquakes. According to USGS statistics, Indonesia has had 22 earthquakes registering 7.5 (or greater) magnitude since 1900, centered in the New Guinea region. The largest was an 8.2 magnitude earthquake in the northern Papua province that killed 166 people in 1996.
More about indonesia earthquake, 66 magnitude, ring of fire, 200 homes destroyed, west papua province
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