5 Jan 2009

Papua quake damage assessment continues

3:43 pm on 5 January 2009

An airport is damaged and a number of buildings have collapsed, following a strong earthquake in the Indonesia province of Papua.

At least four people have been killed and dozens injured, after a 7.6 magnitude tremor struck north of the city of Manokwari, followed by a string of aftershocks.

Amelie Courcaut, from the NGO Medecins du Monde Papua, based in Jayapura, says the latest information says the airport has some damage, and there is military support in the area.

"Today it's calmer, and [there's] a bit of movement, people panic still. Apparently the air force is flying from Manokwari Ok, and the Minister will go soon."

Amelie Courcaut from Medecins du Monde in Papua.

In a news release, the NGO World Vision says many people were frightened to return to their homes due to ongoing aftershocks and were staying outdoors.

It says due to the remote nature of the area it may take some time for the full impact of the quakes to be understood.