NAfter a magnitude 6.2 earthquake, at least 34 people died on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, according to the authorities. Hundreds were injured and dozen of houses collapsed as a result of the tremors, including at least one hotel. The rescue workers looked for people buried under the rubble of a hospital.
The quake struck Majene in the west of the island in the early hours of the morning at 1:18 a.m. local time. According to the American earthquake monitoring station USGS, the epicenter was 36 kilometers south of Mamuju, the regional capital of the West Sulawesi province, at a depth of 18.4 kilometers. On Sulawesi, at least 4,300 people were killed or lost in a severe earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in September 2018.
In the social networks, many Indonesians were shocked by the disaster that followed a few days after the crash of an Indonesian passenger plane in the Java Sea and a double landslide in the province of West Java. After the quake, videos spread allegedly showing some of the destroyed homes and the rescue work. The Indonesian media quoted people from the affected region. “The streets have been torn open and many buildings have collapsed,” said a 28-year-old resident named Hendra of the Jakarta Post. “The quake was very strong. I woke up and ran away with my wife ”. Many people reportedly fled their homes in a panic. However, there was no tsunami warning.
An amateur video distributed by the Indonesian Disaster Agency showed dramatic footage of a girl trapped among the rubble of a house. “Please help me,” said the girl, who only showed her face, according to a translation. It also reported to rescue workers that her mother was buried next to her and that she could hear the sounds of her breathing.
The fate of patients and staff at the hospital that had been destroyed by the earthquake was of great concern. “The hospital has been razed to the ground. It collapsed, ”said a civil protection representative from the AFP agency. “Patients and hospital staff are stuck under the rubble. We are now trying to get to them. “
In addition to the hospital and hotels, the West Sulawesi governor’s office and a shopping center called Sudirman Samual were reportedly at least partially destroyed by the quake. A governor’s spokesman said voices could be heard from the rubble. “We are currently trying to save people from the administration building,” he said. A road to Mamuju is no longer passable due to a destroyed bridge. In the 24 hours before, there had been several smaller quakes that had already triggered landslides and impaired the power supply.
Indonesia lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire and is therefore particularly affected by earthquakes.