At least 34 people have been killed and more than 600 injured after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake stricks in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island in the morning hours of Friday, according to authorities. Hours earlier, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck in the same district, damaging several houses.
The epicentre of the earthquake was six kilometres (3.73 miles) northeast of the city of Majene, at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles). A hospital in the Majene city collapsed due to the quake and many patients and hospital staffs are trapped under.
The disaster mitigation agency said a hotel and the office of the West Sulawesi governor were also severely damaged, and electricity supplies were also down, Some roads and bridges were also damaged slowing down the rescue operation. At least 15,000 people have been displaced following the quake.
Several thousand residents fled their homes to seek safety after the quake.
An expert from the country’s meteorology, climatology, and geophysical agency, BMKG, warned that aftershocks could trigger a possible tsunami.
In an online press conference, BMKG Prof Dwikorita Karnawati has advised residents in the area to take precaution and move to higher ground and red alert has been issued in the area.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo offered condolences to the victims in a video statement, urging the people to stay calm and authorities to step up search efforts.