42 Dead, Hundreds Injured as 6.2 Magnitude Quake Hits Indonesia
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, killing at least 35 people and injuring hundreds.
Earlier this Friday, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, killing at least 42 people and injuring hundreds.
According to Reuters, President Joko Widodo offered condolences to the victims and urged people to stay calm and authorities to step up search efforts.
Reuters reported that the earthquake struck 6 km (3.73 miles) northeast of the town of Majene, sending residents fleeing from their homes. The disaster took place just before 1:30 am at a depth of 10 km.
The region had previously witnessed an earthquake and tsunami just two and a half years ago.
42 people have been killed, mostly in Mamuju and the rest in the neighbouring district of Majene, reported Reuters.
In a statement to AFP, Ali Rahman, head of the local disaster mitigation agency, said that many dead are buried under the rubble. More deaths are likely to be confirmed.
Reuters also reported that no tsunami warning was issued. However, the head of Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati, told a news conference that aftershocks could follow, with a possibility that another powerful quake could trigger a tsunami.
The quake caused considerable damage to property as well. Bridges connecting nearby cities were damaged, electricity was cut, homes and hotels were reduced to piles of rubble and three landslides occurred. The provincial governor’s office, too, was destroyed, as well as more than 300 homes and two hotels.
With the Majume Hospital levelled due to the quake, rescuers were left searching for patients and staff alike trapped beneath the rubble.
Residents were shown fleeing the coastal city as they drove past the debris. AFP reported that the local airport has been damaged as well, according to the authorities.
The West Sulawesi provincial government spokesman Safaruddin told Reuters that immediate relief and aid were required since the authorities need to restore damaged bridges and other property along with ensuring food and medical supplies are delivered and telecommunication is restored.
Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters. A similar earthquake struck the nearby city of Palu and killed thousands in 2018.
In 2004, Indonesia, along with its neighbouring countries of India and Sri Lanka, witnessed mass destruction caused by a tsunami and preceding 9.1-magnitude earthquake, which killed more than 230,000 people.
(With inputs from AFP and Reuters.)
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