A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck Indonesia’s northwestern Sulawesi island early on Friday, killing at least 35 people, destroying homes, bans and causing landslides, disaster officials said.
Rescuers are searching for those trapped in the rubble. More than 600 people were reportedly injured in an earthquake that struck land between the coastal cities of Mamuju and Majene. No tsunami warning was issued.
“I’m afraid to tell how many people have died,” said Ardiansyah, an emergency response officer for West Sulawesi Province, who likes many Indonesians use one name. “We continue to evacuate and build shelters. Many of them were buried under ruins. “
Darno Majid, head of the Western Sulawesi Provincial Disaster Mitigation Agency, reported Friday afternoon that at least 35 people were killed in the earthquake. Most of the fatalities occurred in Mamuju, two of the larger coastal cities, local disaster officials said.
Disaster officials said they expected the number of deaths and injuries from Friday’s earthquake to increase as they received data from the cut-off area. At least one of the bridges was destroyed, roads were damaged and communications were limited, the governor’s office in Mamuju was also damaged.
A video released by the Indonesian disaster relief agency shows a girl identified as the only angel trapped in the rubble of her family home. Only her face could be seen through the gaps in the rubble. Officials said at least three other people were stranded in the house with her.
In the video, she told rescuers that she heard the voice of another girl trapped nearby and unable to move.
The rescuer asked, “Are you still breathing?”
The angel replied: “Not yet. But it’s difficult.”
In Mamuju, Mitra Hospital collapsed in an earthquake. Officials said at least five nurses and patients were trapped inside. The Mamuju government hospital was also severely damaged, officials said. It was not clear who was killed in both hospitals.
The flight control tower at Mamuju’s commercial airport was damaged by an earthquake, and flight control duties were seized by the Air Navigation Office in Makassar, south of Mamuju.
The authorities warned people to avoid the building as another severe earthquake could occur. Thousands of people took refuge in shelters.
Temperatures of six magnitude 2.9 and above were recorded in the 12 hours before the great earthquake at 02:28 local time. Nine aftershocks were recorded in the following hours.
Indonesia sits on what is known as the Ring of Fire, a line of earthquakes and volcanoes that swirls in the Pacific Ocean and is extremely susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis.In 2018, the Lombok earthquake killed hundreds of people. The earthquake and tsunami caused by the Anak Krakatau volcanic eruption kills hundreds more on Java and Sumatra.
Muktita Suhartono contributed to the report.