National Tsunami Warning Center, NOAA/NWS

TSUNAMI of 10 October 2002

A major earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.6 occurred at 1050 UTC 10 October 2002 and was located 55 miles (90 km) S of Manokwari, Irian Jaya, Indonesia (1.71S 134.16E).

According to the Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysical Agency (BMG), the earthquake produced a  local tsunami of about 3-5 meters at Oransbari and Ransiki and a small, one meter tsunami at Manokwari.

Following are information releases collected from various sources:

Heavy Damages, Casualties Predicted
Powerful quake rocks Indonesia
Posted: 11:47 AM (Manila Time) | Oct. 11, 2002
Agence France-Presse

JAKARTA -- At least one person was killed and many homes were damaged in the powerful earthquake that shook a remote region in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua, police said Friday.

The earthquake late on Thursday caused floods and damaged scores of homes, sparking fears of heavy casualties. The tremor measured 6.4 on the Richter scale and lasted for three minutes.

A policeman died after he was hit by falling debris from a mosque where he was praying, said a police officer in the coastal town of Manokwari, who refused to give his name.

"We have not yet received detailed information on casualties or damages. But many homes are damaged," the policeman told AFP, adding that communication problems were hampering efforts to assess the damage.

He said the authorities had taken necessary steps to help the victims he refused to give further details.

The epicenter was 99 kilometers (61.5 miles) south of the coastal town of Manokwari in the western part of the island, meteorological and geophysics agency spokesman Wantono told AFP. The quake struck at 1050 GMT on Thursday.

The state Antara news agency, in a dispatch from Manokwari, said dozens of homes in the Doreri Bay area of Manokwari were flooded by some 30 centimeters (one feet) of water caused by a tsunami that followed the quake.

Antara also said Manokwari residents fled their homes and patients at hospitals stayed outdoors and set up makeshift tents on the street after the quake and its aftershocks.

Police said the quake was also felt in at least four other districts.

The Earth Sciences Observatory in Strasbourg, France, earlier registered the quake at 7.4 on the Richter scale, describing it as the biggest in the region since 1995.

The National Earthquake Information Center in the United States also reported the quake and predicted substantial damage and casualties.

The Indonesian archipelago is one of the world's most earthquake-prone regions and sits on the so-called "Pacific Rim of Fire". It regularly experiences quakes of more than 5.0 on the Richter Scale.

The last fatal quake in the country was at Bengkulu on the southwest of Sumatra island in June 2000, when 100 people died.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale can cause considerable damage in a heavily-populated area.

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Date: 11 Oct 2002

Indonesia - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Ref. OCHA/GVA - 2002/0211
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Indonesia - Earthquake
11 October 2002

This situation report is based on information provided by the OCHA Office in Jakarta, the media, as well as geological survey institutes.

1. The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) in Jakarta, Indonesia reported an earthquake in Papua Province on 10 October 2002 at 17.50 local time (10:50 UTC). According to the BMG, the earthquake measured at 6.4 on the Richter Scale. The epicentre is located at 1.73 S and 134.32 E, approximately 99km south of Manokwari in the sea.

2. The coastal area was reportedly inundated overnight. A field survey is being conducted by BMG Papua to assess whether it is due to a tsunami or tidal waves. So far no concrete assessment results are available, however, the BMG in Jayapura reported the following damages:

31 houses severely damaged
17 houses damaged
4 houses with minor damages
3 casualties have been reported in a town near Manokwari (Ransiki)
In Ransiki also a 3km-long crack in the earth is reported

3. OCHA is in close contact with the OCHA and UNICEF representatives and the BMG in Papua, through its office in Jakarta.

4. OCHA will prepare a second situation report on this disaster as more information becomes available.

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