Japan Tsunami Hits Papua Province

Jakarta – One person was killed and houses damaged when a tsunami reached Indonesia’s Papua province following a devastating earthquake in Japan, state media reported Saturday.

The wave, measuring two metres high, hit a coastal village in Muara Tami district at around midnight Friday, hours after the government lifted a tsunami warning triggered by the quake in Japan earlier in the day, the state-run Antara news agency reported.

The wave destroyed houses, leaving at least 19 families homeless, and damaged dozens of boats, Antara said.

“The wave travelled 200 metres from the coast, but luckily people had fled at that time,” resident Godlief Samallo was quoted as saying.

But a 35-year-old resident identified as Darwanto Odang was swept away by the wave as he tried to safe his family. His body was found on Saturday afternoon, Antara said.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Red Cross was to send a nine-member team to help with the relief efforts in Japan, spokeswoman Aulia Arriani said Saturday.

The team, consisting of seven rescuers and two surgeons, would leave for Japan on Monday, she said, adding that the team would be in Japan for two weeks.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency said a government rescue team was ready to be sent to Japan if needed.

“We have to discuss first with the government of Japan what they need,” said agency spokesman Hartje Robert.

“If they say OK, we will go.” – Sapa-dpa