8 people killed, thousands flee in Indonesian earthquake

8 people killed, thousands flee in Indonesian earthquake

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake killed 8 people on Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. Thousands evacuated after the earthquake struck the island in the early hours, on Friday.

The national disaster mitigation agency said that a strong earthquake hit Indonesia’s West Sulawesi on Friday which killed atleast 8 people. The panicked residents fled to safer areas.

The earthquake damaged the office of the west Sulawesi province governor, several homes and a local health facility, due to which dozens were injured. Atleast 637 people were injured, said BNPB agency. About 15000 people were relocated to 10 locations.

The quake hit the island at 1:28 a.m. (local time). It was felt strongly for about seven seconds but did not trigger a tsunami warning. The epicentre of the earthquake was six kilometres (3.73 miles) northeast of Majene city at a depth of 10 kilometres.

The earthquake also caused power blackout, disrupted mobile phone networks and cut off road access. On social media, videos showed residents on motorcycles fleeing to higher ground and a child trapped under the rubble as people tried to remove debris with their bare hands.

Dwikorita Karnawati, Indonesia’s head of Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency said in a briefing, “Residents are still advised to stay away from buildings and beaches” for fear of collapse and a tsunami could still occur in possible aftershocks.”

According to the reports of Indonesia’s state energy holding company, PT Pertamina Persero, there were no meaningful damages to its fuel distributors in Majene and nearby facilities. The state power firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara deployed 123 personnels to restore power.

Spokesman Yohanes Harry Douglas Sirait said in a statement that State-air navigation operator AirNav Indonesia has sent backup personnels and communication equipment to reinforce airplane guide because the quake had damaged air traffic controller building at Tampa Padang airport in Mamuju. The navigation services are being transferred to Makassar, South Sulawesi, for the time being,

Disaster agency of Indonesia said that a series of quakes in the past 24 hours had caused atleast 3 landslides and the electricity had been cut.

The 18,000 islands of this Asian Country sit along the Pacific’s “ring of fire” zone of active volcanoes and tectonic faults which makes it prone to earthquakes.

 

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