Tidal wave hits Manokwari, thousands evacuate to higher gound
January 7, 2008, 10:29 am
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Jayapura (ANTARA News) – Thousands of people living in coastal areas and in floating houses in Manokwari, West Papua province, fled to hills or other elevated places as a tidal wave hit the area at 12 am local time on Monday.

The tidal wave which reached heights of up to five meters swept through the coastal villages of Borasi, Pasar Borobudur, Wirsi, Sanggeng, Wosi, Rendani, Kampung Ambon, Pasir Putih and also reached the city center.

Earlier in the day, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 on the Richter scale shook the Manokwari and Sorong areas but the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said the temblor did not have the potential of triggering a tsunami.

The earthquake caused cracks in the walls of a number of urban buildings, including Hadi Mall, Bank Mandiri, Bank Papua and Sanggeng Department Store.

But there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located at 1.17 degrees southern latitude and 131.94 degrees eastern longitude at a depth of 50 km below sea level, 78 km southeast of Sorong, 199 km southwest of Manokwari and 144 km northwest of Kaimana, West Papua province, the BMG said.

Water from the tidal wave also reached streets at the Manokwari city center causing thousands of people to rush out of buildings to find safer places.

They took refuge in the hills of Reremi, Wosi, Rendani, Gunung Meja, Manggopai and at the University of Papua (Unipa) campus which is located in an area about 500 meters above sea level.(*)


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