Panic as strong earthquake hits Indonesia's Papua

The earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2, struck at 8:42 a.m. local time, said Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

The agency said the quake was centered about 34 kilometers southwest of the mountainous town of Oksibil at a depth of 57 kilometers.

It shocked residents in Oksibil, which is located south of Papua's provincial capital, Jayapura.

"We all ran out from homes," said a housewife who identified herself only as Desy. "This is the strongest quake I ever felt."

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

A giant quake off the country on December 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

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