5.5-magnitude quake hits Teluk Bintuni district

Sorong, Papua (ANTARA News) - An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale hit Teluk Bintuni district in West Papua province on Tuesday evening, causing panic among local residents.

"The quake was strongly felt for not very long, only nearly one minute, but residents rushed outdoors in panic as they remembered the recent earthquake in Aceh that destroyed a lot of houses," Mesak, a local resident, said.

The earthquake is the fourth to hit the district in the past two months. However, none of them caused any major damage to houses.

When contacted by Antara on Tuesday evening, Andri Wijaya, chief of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) Office in Sorong, confirmed that the earthquake measured 5.5 on the Richter scale.

The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 06.46 pm local time, was located at 2.31 degrees southern latitude and 133.96 degrees eastern longitude at a depth of 41 kilometers.

He said the earthquake was a shallow one and had no potential to cause a tsunami.

There was no immediate report of casualties and material damage.

An earthquake of magnitude 5.5 is considered moderate and capable of causing considerable damage.(*)