Indonesia’s Sulawesi island was rocked by a powerful earthquake early Friday which set off landslides, left buildings in ruins and killed at least seven people, according to local authorities.
Residents were sent fleeing from their homes as the earthquake, which registered 6.2 in magnitude on the Richter scale, struck around 1 a.m. local time.
|The location of the powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia early Friday morning, Jan. 15, 2021, is denoted by the star. (USGS)|
In Majene, four deaths and 637 injuries have been confirmed, while three more deaths and 24 injuries were reported in neighboring Mamuju, according to Reuters.
The epicentre of the earthquake was 22 miles (36 km) south of Mamuju, Indonesia, according to the United States Geological Survey. The temblor was rather shallow, occurring at a depth of 11 miles (18 km) below the earth’s surface.
Sitting along the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’, Indonesia is no stranger to tectonic activity.
In fact, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the same district just hours earlier on Thursday.
|Residents inspect earthquake-damaged houses in Mamuju, West Sulawesi, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. A strong inland and shallow earthquake hit eastern Indonesia early Friday causing people to panic in parts of the country’s Sulawesi island and run to higher ground. (AP Photo/Rudy Akdyaksyah)|
Between the two earthquakes, Indonesia’s disaster agency stated that at least three landslides have been triggered with many communities experiencing power outages. At least 60 homes have been damaged.
Images on social media showed the Mitra Manakarra hospital in Mamuju left in rubble, with as many as 20 people feared to be trapped underneath.
Damage to a bridge has cut off at least one route into Mamuju, according to Reuters.