Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Indonesia Earthquakes Kill 3, Cause Panic

A series of powerful earthquakes rattled Indonesia on Wednesday, killing three people, triggering landslides and demolishing dozens of homes. A tsunami warning sent panicked residents fleeing buildings to high ground. The 7.0 magnitude quake was centered 18 miles beneath the ocean floor and 125 miles off the northern coast of Papua province, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was accompanied by a series of strong aftershocks, the highest measuring 6.4.

More than 20 houses collapsed in Serui, a town in Yapen district, sparking fires in at least seven places, said police spokesman Lt. Col. Wachjono, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. Two bodies were pulled from beneath the rubble. "Police and rescuers are still searching for other victims in remote areas," he said. Hundreds of people ran out of their homes, said Yan Pieter Yarangga, a resident from the town of Biak. Fearing a tsunami, people fled beaches and some raced for high ground. "I ran too, I was afraid there would be a second quake," he said.

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