Bangkok Desk, Jan 17 (efe-epa).- At least 56 people were killed and 826 injured as a result of a shallow magnitude-6.2 earthquake on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) reported Sunday as search efforts continued.
The earthquake struck West Sulawesi province at a depth of 10 kilometers at 2.28 am Friday while residents were sleeping, and has forced 15,000 displaced people to shelter at 15 evacuation points set up by authorities.
Data on victims is still being collected and authorities have not yet reported a number of possible missing persons.
Rescue teams suspect that there are people are still trapped in the rubble of many collapsed buildings, including a hospital that with patients and their families inside in Mamuju rejency, an area that has recorded 47 of the total deaths.
As aftershocks continue, residents have been warned to beware of landslides – some of which were triggered by the quake – and to stay away from beaches, however no tsunami alert was issued.
Power and mobile services were severely disrupted by Friday’s earthquake, but this is gradually being restored to the province and roads cleared, the BNPB said.
Heavy rainfall in the area, which has caused another five deaths, one missing and 200 displaced as a result of floods and landslides in North Sulawesi province, make the work of emergency teams even more difficult.
The authorities on Sunday also raised the death toll from landslides that occurred last weekend in the town of Cihanjuang, Java island, to 28 and 12 missing. Over 1,000 people have been displaced.
The earthquakes, floods and landslides all occur the same week as Mount Semeru erupted in East Java Saturday, a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 carrying 62 people crashed into the sea after takeoff from Jakarta last weekend, and the government began their nationwide Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activities with 127 active volcanoes. It experiences about 7,000, mostly-moderate, quakes a year. EFE-EPA