01/15/2021, 10.21
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6.2 earthquake hits West Sulawesi, at least 7 dead and hundreds injured (VIDEO)

by Mathias Hariyadi

The quake, which lasted a few seconds, struck at 2.28 last night, 34 km south of the city of Mamuju. Hours before another quake of magnitude 5.9. Massive damage to 60 homes; the governor's palace and two hotels collapsed. Rescue teams search for survivors under the rubble. There are no heavy vehicles to remove debris.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - At least seven people have died and 637 were injured in a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the province of West Sulawesi, 34 km south of the city of Mamuju overnight.

The quake, which lasted a few seconds, was recorded at 2.28 am.

At least 60 homes suffered extensive damage. Some buildings have collapsed: among these, the West Sulawesi governor's palace (photo 2) and two hotels. Those in charge of emergency operations expect the number of victims to rise.

Rescue teams have begun to search for survivors under the ruins of the Mitra Manakarra hospital in Majene, a five-story building that totally collapsed: two security guards are believed to be under the rubble. The lack of heavy vehicles makes the work of the rescue teams more difficult.

According to the Indonesian geophysics agency (Bnpb), the earthquake occurred at a depth of 38 km. Minor tremors occurred in Mamuju, 39 km from the epicentre; Polewali, at 58 km distance; Majene at 62 km distance.

The inhabitants of the area fled their homes in search of shelter outside. No tsunami warnings were issued. At least one street in Mamuju is cut off due to the collapse of a bridge.

The rescue teams are launching an appeal for some urgent necessities: tents, medical services, heavy vehicles, communication tools, instant foods, masks, medicines.

A video released on social media shows a little girl still alive under the rubble of a collapsed building.

Yesterday, a few hours before the earthquake, in the same district there was a quake of magnitude 5.9, which damaged several buildings and injured one person.

According to the BNPB, in the last 24 hours, a series of tremors caused at least three landslides and cut off electricity in the area.

Indonesia is a nation with high tectonic activity, being on the so-called "ring of fire", which causes earthquakes and eruptions of volcanoes.

In 2018, a 6.2 quake, with subsequent tsunami, struck the city of Palu (Central Sulawesi), killing thousands of people.

In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake and tsunami off the island of Sumatra killed 226,000 people in several countries bordering the Indian Ocean. The victims in Indonesia were 170 thousand.

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