Jakarta, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Indonesia on Monday intensified rescue efforts in the wake of the magnitude-6.2 earthquake that struck the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi late last week leaving at least 81 people dead and more than 19,000 displaced.
The authorities have deployed more personnel and have called on humanitarian and voluntary organizations to assist in evacuation of the affected areas, searching for survivors and offering assistance to the victims amid difficult circumstances caused by heavy rains that have hampered rescue efforts over the weekend.
The number of deaths caused due to the quake stands at 81 while the number of injured exceeds 800, hundreds of whom are critical, according to the latest data of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), which reported that 575 volunteers from various organizations have signed up to help.
The earthquake, located at a depth of just 18 kilometers (11 miles), left a trail of destruction mainly in the cities of Mamuju and Majene, located about 36 kilometers north and some 60 kilometers south of the epicenter, respectively.
Rescue teams suspect that there are people still trapped in the rubble of many collapsed buildings, including a hospital with patients and their families inside in Mamuju Regency, an area that has recorded 70 of the total deaths.
The quake, which struck early Friday while residents were sleeping, has caused extensive damage to several parts of the area.
Power and mobile services, severely disrupted by Friday’s earthquake, have been restored to the province and roads cleared.
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