According to the local disaster mitigation agency, at least 26 people have died in Mamuju city.

Picture of destruction after an earthquake struck IndonesiaTwiiter/@IJaparuddin
news Earthquake Friday, January 15, 2021 - 13:39

An earthquake struck Indonesia's Sulawesi island early on Friday morning, leaving at least 34 people dead and injuring over 600 others. The head of the local disaster mitigation agency Ali Rahman told AFP that "the latest information we have is that 26 people are dead ... in Mamuju city."

The national disaster agency said that a further eight people had died to the south of the city. Many buildings were damaged. Two hospitals and the building that houses the provincial government offices collapsed, said Muhammad Idris, secretary to the governor on national television. A large number of people are trapped under the rubble, officials said. The epicenter of the 6.2 magnitude quake was six kilometers (3.73 miles) northeast of Majene city and measured at a depth of 18 kilometers. Thousands of people left their homes when the quake hit. They were evacuated to temporary shelters. 

What is it like on Sulawesi?

At least 60 homes have been damaged. A mall was also impacted, Sudirman Samual, a journalist based in Mamuju, north of the epicenter, told news agency Reuters. The country's search-and-rescue agency earlier said at least one hotel had collapsed. It later clarified that the hotel had partially caved in.

At the hospital in Mamuju, a rescuer explained: "There are patients and hospital employees trapped under the rubble and we're now trying to reach them."

A video circulating on social media showed rescue workers checking on two sisters who were trapped under rubble. It was not clear where they were trapped. Videos also showed residents fleeing to higher ground on motorcycles.

Aftershock warning

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. Hours earlier on Thursday, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck in the same district damaging several houses, but causing no apparent casualties. Strong aftershocks could follow, the chief of Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics agency (BMKG) warned.

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