Strong Quakes, Papua, Indonesia

A series of three strong earthquakes struck Papua, Indonesia in quick succession this afternoon.

Wednesday 16th June 2010

Three undersea earthquakes with magnitudes between 6.2 and 7.0 struck off the coast of Irian Jaya, Papua, Indonesia over a 52 minute period this afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey

The first event struck at 3:06 p.m. New Zealand time. This was a magnitude 6.4 earthquake located 165 km north of Enarotali, Papua (320 km east-south-east of Manokwari) at a depth of 25 km.

Ten minutes later a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the same area, being centred 195 km north of Enarotali (300 km east-south-east of Manokwari) at a depth of 29 km.

A magnitude 5.1 quake then struck 175 km north-north-east of Enarotali at 3:38 p.m. at a depth of 35 km.

At 3:58 p.m. a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 175 km north of Enarotali (315 km east-south-east of Manokwari) at a depth of 20 km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a bulletin for the largest quake at 3:26 p.m. New Zealand time. It reported the event as magnitude 7.3 at a depth of 20 km and advised that a widespread tsunami threat did not exist based on historical data.

Geoscience Australia reports the three largest events as magnitude 6.3, 7.2 and 6.4 respectively. It estimates that the largest earthquake was centred just onshore Irian Jaya south of the island of Japen. Their analysis suggests the quake would have caused damage within 120 km of the epicentre and would have been felt up to 1500 km away.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and its contributing agencies, the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, and Geoscience Australia.]

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