West Papua is one of the areas in Indonesia that is prone to earthquakes. In Tanah Papua, there are frequent earthquakes for a few seconds, that the epicenter of earthquakes is located in the middle of the thick mountainous forests of West Papua, among the curves of steep valleys and towering mountains of Membramo Raya. Papua’s land area has great potential for tectonic earthquake classification. Various active faults on the seabed cross the land of Papua due to the confluence of two large plates, the Pacific plates, and Indo Australian plates.
The Earthquake Potential In West Papua
The Pacific plate and Indo Australian plate are located that consist of at least trenches New Guinea Trench and Manokwari, then South New Guinea Trench and Sorong fault. The land of Papua, in fact, is indeed crossed by three major of earthquakes, the convergence zone of the Pacific plate and the complex island of Papua New Guinea, the Aiduna Tarairua fault line and the Sorong Fault Line. Unfortunately, the motion of the Pacific plate of the northeast of Papua has a very fast of 120 mm per year. It means that the potential for seismicity in Papua is actually more than twice the probability of faults in Sumatra and Java, which on average only have a speed of 50 until 70 mm per year.
Jaya Wijaya Mountains Earthquake
The earthquake in Jaya Wijaya Mountains happened on June 25, 1976. This earthquake is 7.1 Richter scale. The deadliest earthquakes along the quake of Papua in modern times. Resulting in more than 500 people are killed and more than 5 thousands more buried in high mountain avalanches in Jaya Wijaya.
Biak earthquake was happened on February 17, 1996, with 8.2 on the Richter scale. In the afternoon, around 3 p.m. the earthquake with very strong shaking of around 8 on the Richter scale shook the Biak region and its surroundings. The earthquake vibrations were felt in several places namely Biak Numor district, Yepen Island, Manokwari, and Serui. The epicenter was 101 km in the northeast of North Biak with a duration of shock is 10 until 15 minutes. The magnitude of the earthquake is at a fairly shallow point, about 33 kilometers. As a result, the tsunami waves crashed instantly around 10 to 15 minutes later. The tsunami was come with varying heights, in Korim it’s 6 until 7 meters, in Manokwari it’s 7 meters, and in Yepen Island it’s 7 meters. There were 108 people died, 58 victims were lost, and 423 people injured.
The earthquake in Nabire happened on June 2, 2004, on 7 Richter scale. The first earthquake that shook Nabire with superpowers. It is a strength of 7 Richter scale and more than 25 kilometers in depth. It killed 37 people because of being buried in rubble, with the injured people are more than 680 people and also damage more than 2.600 units of buildings.
Earthquake In Nabire
Another earthquake in Nabire happened on November 26, 2004, with 6.4 Richter scale. The earthquake that was vibrated in Nabire was at a fairly shallow depth, only 10 kilometers with a strength of 6.4 on the Richter scale. That earthquake damaged the buildings, 31 people died and more than 2.700 people were injured.
Based on WestPapuaIndonesia.com The earthquake in Manokwari happened in January 2009 with 7.9 Richter scale. On that time a major shock was felt in two areas of Papua, namely the city of Sorong and the city of Manokwari. This 7.6 magnitude earthquake is thought to be a tectonic earthquake due to a shift in the Sorong fault. The depth is quite shallow, only about 35 kilometers below the surface on the earth.