Magnitude-7 quake strikes Papua New Guinea

The country is still reeling just two weeks after a devastating magnitude-7.5 quake and subsequent tsunami hit the island of Sulawesi last week.

On search and rescue mission for the victims of the deadly disasters, head of the national disaster management agency Willem Rampangilei said, the operation will be terminated on Thursday, which will be the 14th day after the strikes on September 28.

The tremor was followed by two 5.8-magnitude quakes.

Indonesia's disaster agency said "the quake was felt quite strongly by people in Sumenep and Situbondo for 2-5 seconds".

Parks and monuments are planned at three of the worst-hit areas to commemorate those who may never be found. But look at all these people, ' he said.

Indonesia has accepted aid from 18 countries, despite the government's previous reluctance to welcome foreign assistance, partly because of fears it would be seen as incapable of handling disasters.

It also said that foreign groups wishing to provide aid could do so through the Indonesian Red Cross. "We just have to accept it", he told AFP. More than 80,000 people are living in temporary shelters or otherwise displaced, he said. "We want to help as many as we can".

The second, of magnitude 7, struck at dawn in the Papua-New-Guinea, at 20H48 GMT, without reporting damage in the immediate future.

The quake was also felt in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, which is about 200km from Situbondo, the nearest town to the quake epicentre.

Tourists on bicycles ride past Indonesian marines on patrol near the venue of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meetings in Nusa Dua, Bali.

During the summer, the earthquakes had done more than 550 deaths on the indonesian island of Lombok.

Indonesia straddles the southwestern reaches of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is practically defined by the tectonic plates that grind below its lush islands and blue seas.

In 2004, a quake off the north Indonesia island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Vanessa Coleman

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