Jakarta (Agencies) – At least four people were killed Thursday when an earthquake struck the capital of Papua and crumpled a waterfront restaurant, officials said.
The 5.1-magnitude quake hit around 1.28 pm (0628 GMT) on land just southwest of Jayapura city at a depth of 22 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.
"A cafe collapsed and four people died there. It fell into the sea," Asep Khalid, head of the Jayapura Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a press release.
The four victims had been at a cafe when the quake caused the building to collapse, said Asep said a statement. The quake was felt strongly for two to three seconds, causing panic amongst residents, he added.
Unverified footage on social media showed a harbourside building had collapsed into the sea and light damage to a mall and hospital in the city.
Residents in Jayapura said people scrambled for safety, running from houses and shops when the quake struck.
Putri Kurita, 30, bolted for the exit at another restaurant fearing it would collapse.
"I was having lunch when things suddenly swayed, the jolt got much stronger," she told AFP.
Thursday's quake in Papua was one of more than a thousand recorded in the area since January this year, according to BMKG.
"Since Jan 2, 2023, there have been 1,079 quakes around Jayapura, with about 132 felt by its residents," said BMKG chief, Dwikorita Karnawati.
The meteorological agency gave a higher magnitude of 5.2 and warned of potential aftershocks.
The region affected by Thursday's quake is home to a decades-long insurgency waged by rebels seeking independence from Indonesia.