An earthquake shook the Jayapura region in Papua on Thursday, February 9th, 2023, according to the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG). On Friday (10/2/2023), the earthquake was felt in the region seven more times. The head of BMKG, Dwikorita, stated that the earthquake was a shallow earthquake caused by active fault activities. The earthquake caused significant damage to buildings and reportedly led to the deaths of four people. However, it is known not to have the potential to cause a tsunami.
In response to the situation, a state of emergency has been declared, and thousands of people have fled the area. According to Abdul Muhari, the head of the National Disaster Management Agency's Data, Information and Communication Center, the number of earthquake refugees in Jayapura has reached 2,136 people and is spread out over 15 locations.
The earthquake in Jayapura had a magnitude of M 5.4, causing widespread damage to buildings. BMKG revealed that this was a shallow tectonic earthquake. Jayapura is known to have shallow earthquake characteristics and had a magnitude of M 5.4, with an updated magnitude of M 5.2, and was centered at a depth of 10 km. Since January 2023, the Jayapura region has been hit by 1,072 aftershocks.
Deputy Director of Geophysics at BMKG, Suko Prayitno Adi, said that the Jayapura region has a very high earthquake activity. This characteristic is what causes many aftershocks to occur. Meanwhile, the head of the Earthquake and Tsunami Center, Dayono, explained that the Jayapura region of Papua is a seismically active and complex area.
The recent earthquake in Jayapura was also a shallow earthquake, but with a strike-slip mechanism. The earthquake was known to have a high level of seismic activity, indicating that the rocks in the area are very brittle and capable of accumulating energy, making earthquakes more likely to occur.
Furthermore, Daryono explained that the recent earthquake in Jayapura is suspected to be a type of tectonic earthquake swarm. Given the earthquake in Jayapura with a source mechanism in the normal fault and strike-slip fault zones, Daryono also mentioned the possibility of off-fault seismicity.