Four dead after floating restaurant falls as earthquake hits Indonesia

The shallow earthquake hit residential areas in Jayapura and killed four people when a floating restaurant collapsed into the sea.

Four dead after floating restaurant collapses as earthquake hits Jayapura, Indonesia Getty Images

A shallow earthquake has shaken Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua, killing four people who were unable to escape when a floating restaurant collapsed into the sea.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit residential areas in Jayapura, near Papua’s northern coast and was centred at a depth of 13 miles.

Shallow quakes often cause more damage on the Earth’s surface.

“The residents were really panicked. I was in a car and I felt like the car’s wheels were lifted up,” said Tri Asih, a resident of Jayapura, Papua’s capital.

Officials said four people inside the floating restaurant died when the quake caused it to collapse into the sea.

“The bodies of the four victims have been recovered,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Abdul Muhari said at a press conference.

“The victims were trapped under the rubble of the cafe and covered by the roof.”

Rescue divers were searching the area around the cafeteria for possible survivors.

Mr Muhari said houses, buildings and medical facilities were also damaged. Some patients at the city’s hospital were evacuated to its yard.

A series of strong earthquakes has shaken Papua since January.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said it has recorded 1,079 earthquakes in Jayapura city and nearby areas since January 2, with 132 of them strong enough to be felt.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago and home to 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 seismic faults around the Pacific Basin.

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake on November 21 killed at least 331 people in West Java. 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 which killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province.

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