Kerri Ritchie and wires
The Indonesian province of Papua has been rocked by four earthquakes, killing two people and triggering panic as residents fled their homes.
The first, a magnitude 6.2, struck about 1:10pm AEST on the small island of Biak.
It was followed quickly by three more quakes in the same area; the largest was recorded at magnitude 7.1.
Police say initial reports suggest two people were crushed when their houses collapsed, as the quake shook Yapen island off northern Papua province.
A tsunami warning was initially issued, but has now been lifted.
Yapen Island, with a population of about 70,000 people, appeared to be the worst-hit area with one church destroyed and at least 150 homes damaged.
Thousands of people fled their homes and workplaces on nearby Biak island and in the West Papua provincial capital of Manokwari about 300 kilometres to the west.
"I was driving my car to the office... I felt a huge tremor for about one or two minutes," Biak resident Osibyo Wakum said.
"The car was being flung around."
He said people rushed out of homes and buildings as the quake rocked the island around lunchtime.
In Manokwari, people fled to open spaces as buildings swayed and the earth shook.
"There was a swaying movement for about 40 seconds. People ran out of their homes, shouting 'get out, get out, the earth is shaking'," said an agency reporter in the town.
Many people remained outside as a series of powerful aftershocks shook the region, some as strong as 6.6 in magnitude.
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- © ABC