Jakarta, 15 January 2021 (dpa/MIA) – At least 35 people were killed and hundreds injured after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia‘s West Sulawesi province on Friday, officials said.
The quake toppled dozens of houses, leaving a large number of people trapped under the rubble.
Most of the deaths were in the provincial capital Mamuju, Darno Majid, the head of the local civil protection agency, told Metro TV.
Darno said victims were still being retrieved from the rubble.
Two hospitals and the building that houses the provincial government offices also collapsed, leaving at least two people trapped under the debris, said Muhammad Idris, secretary to the governor.
“We can hear their voices but they can’t move,” Idris said.
The National Search and Rescue Agency said more than 600 people were injured, nearly 200 of them seriously.
The quake also displaced more than 2,000 people and triggered at least three landslides, blocking roads linking Mamuju and Majene, another hard-hit town, officials said.
Video footage released by the disaster agency showed a little girl trapped under the rubble of a house who was visibly in pain and crying for help.
“There are four people there but we can’t do anything because we don’t have heavy equipment,” a man was heard saying in the video.
In another clip, a wailing woman pointed to the rubble of her house and said: “My child is there.”
The head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, Bagus Paruhito, said a Hercules C-130 cargo plane was on its way to West Sulawesi carrying search equipment and workers.
The quake struck at 1:28 am (1828GMT Thursday), with the epicentre six kilometres from Majene district, according to the Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency.
It followed a 5.9-magnitude quake near the same area on Thursday afternoon.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.