A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the northwest coast of Sulawesi island in Indonesia early Friday morning, killing at least 35 people, destroying homes, destroying a hospital and causing landslides.
Rescuers are searching for people trapped under the rubble. More than 600 people were reported injured in the earthquake that struck inland between the coastal cities of Mamuju and Majin. No tsunami warning was issued.
“I’m afraid to say how many people have died,” said Ardiansyah, the emergency response official for West Sulawesi province, who like many Indonesians uses one name. We are still evacuating and making shelters. Many people were buried under the rubble. “
Darno Majid, head of the Disaster Mitigation Agency in West Sulawesi Province, said Friday afternoon that at least 35 people have died in the earthquake. Local disaster officials said most of the deaths occurred in Mamuju, the two largest coastal city.
Disaster officials said they expected an increase in the number of dead and injured from the quake on Friday as they received information from cut off areas. At least one bridge was destroyed, roads were damaged, and communications were limited. The district governor’s office in Mamuju was also damaged.
A video clip released by the Indonesian Disaster Reduction Agency shows a girl identified only as an angel trapped in the rubble of her family’s home. Her face is only visible through a gap in the rubble. Officials said at least 3 others were trapped with her in the house.
In the video, she tells rescuers that she can hear another girl who is stuck nearby and can’t move.
“Are you still breathing?” Asks the rescuer.
The angel replies, “It is still. But it is difficult.”
In Mamuju, Mitra Hospital collapsed in the earthquake. Officials said at least five nurses and patients were trapped inside. Officials said Mamuju Governmental Hospital was badly damaged. It was not clear if any person was killed in any of the hospitals.
The flight control tower at Mamuju Commercial Airport was damaged in the earthquake, and the Air Navigation Bureau in Makassar, south of Mamuju, took over flight control duties.
The authorities have warned the public to avoid buildings due to the possibility of another strong earthquake. Thousands of people have taken refuge in shelters.
Six tremors of magnitude 2.9 were recorded in the 12 hours before the main earthquake struck at 2:28 am local time. Nine aftershocks were recorded in the hours that followed.
Indonesia is located on the so-called Ring of Fire, which is a line of seismic and volcanic activities that orbit a large portion of the Pacific Ocean and are highly vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. In 2018, Earthquake on the island of Lombok Hundreds were killed, and an earthquake and tsunami caused them An eruption of Anak Krakatau volcano Hundreds were killed on the islands of Java and Sumatra.
Muktita Suhartono contributed to the report.