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Strong quake in Indonesia's Sulawesi kills at least seven, injures hundreds

Strong quake in Indonesia's Sulawesi kills at least seven, injures hundreds

Friday, January 15, 2021, 11:17 GMT+7
Strong quake in Indonesia's Sulawesi kills at least seven, injures hundreds
People look at the damaged governor of West Sulawesi province's office following an earthquake in Mamuju, West Sulawesi province, Indonesia, January 15, 2021 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo: Reuters

JAKARTA -- A 6.2-magnitude earthquake on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island killed at least seven people, injured hundreds and damaged many buildings on Friday, the country’s disaster mitigation agency said, as panicked residents fled to safer areas.

The epicentre of the quake was six kilometres (3.73 miles) northeast of Majene city at a depth of 10 kilometres.

Initial information from the country’s disaster mitigation agency showed that four people had died and 637 others were injured in Majene, while there were three more fatalities and two dozen injured in the neighbouring area of Mamuju.

Thousands had fled their homes to seek safety when the quake hit just after 1 am local time on Friday morning, damaging at least 60 homes, the agency said.

The quake was felt strongly for about seven seconds but did not trigger a tsunami warning.

Members of a search and rescue agency team dig through rubble after an earthquake, in Mamuju, West Sulawesi Province, Indonesia January 15, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Members of a search and rescue agency team dig through rubble after an earthquake, in Mamuju, West Sulawesi Province, Indonesia January 15, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Videos on social media showed residents fleeing to higher ground on motorcycles, and a child trapped under the rubble as people tried to remove debris with their bare hands.

Some buildings were badly damaged, including two hotels, the office of the governor of West Sulawesi and a mall, Sudirman Samual, a journalist based in Mamuju, north of the epicentre, told Reuters.

At least one route into Mamuju had been cut off, he said, due to damage to a bridge.

Hours earlier on Thursday, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck in the same district damaging several houses.

Members of a search and rescue agency team dig through rubble after an earthquake, in Mamuju, West Sulawesi Province, Indonesia January 15, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Members of a search and rescue agency team dig through rubble after an earthquake, in Mamuju, West Sulawesi Province, Indonesia January 15, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Indonesia’s disaster agency said a series of quakes in the past 24 hours had caused at least three landslides, and the electricity supply had been cut.

Straddling the so-called Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, Indonesia, a nation of high tectonic activity, is regularly hit by earthquakes.

In 2018, a devastating 6.2-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands of people.

Graphic: Quake in Indonesia's Sulawesi

Graphic: Quake in Indonesia's Sulawesi

Reuters

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