Indonesia's Papua region jolted by 6.5 magnitude earthquake

Indonesia, West Papua, surfing in the Pacific Ocean.

A powerful earthquake shook Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua early Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.5 quake was centered 162 kilometers (101 miles) northeast of Abepura, a subdistrict in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province. It happened at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency said there was no danger of a tsunami but warned of possible aftershocks as the earthquake was centered in land.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii, there was no tsunami threat from the quake.

With a population of just 62,250, Abepura is one of Indonesia’s least populated towns. In February, another shallow earthquake shook the province, killing four people who were unable to escape when a floating restaurant collapsed into the sea.

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Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 270 million people, is frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because of its location on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 21 killed at least 331 people and injured nearly 600 in West Java’s Cianjur city. It was the deadliest in Indonesia since a 2018 quake and tsunami in Sulawesi killed about 4,340 people.

In 2004, an extremely powerful Indian Ocean quake set off a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province.