At least 35 people were killed and hundreds more injured after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Sulawesi island in Indonesia early Friday, according to the country’s disaster mitigation agency.
The epicenter of the powerful earthquake which struck at 1:28am (Jakarta time) was six kilometers (3.7 miles) from the town of Majene with a recorded depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.
According to the country’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), there have been 35 confirmed deaths with hundreds injured so far and this number is expected to rise as rescue workers continue to find people buried under the rubble.
Initial information from the National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) showed that 637 people had been injured in Majene while over two dozen injuries were reported from the neighboring Mamuju area.
Meanwhile, at least 15,000 people have been displaced as a result of the Indonesia earthquake which was reportedly felt for seven second and damaged hundred of homes Majene and Mamuju areas.
Safaruddin Sanusi, head of West Sulawesi’s Communications and Information Department, said that top priority at the time is rescuing everyone trapped under the buildings.
According to the official, nearly half of the buildings in Mamuju were completely wiped out by the earthquake and most of the people of the people had been displaced.
The communications chief also said that the Friday’s Indonesia earthquake had damaged four hospitals in Mamuju with one of them being completely flattened by the quake while three others were in a bad situation.
The head of Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati, told a press conference that another powerful earthquake could trigger a tsunami. According to the official, there had been at least 26 aftershocks as a result of the Friday ‘s quake.
Saidar Rahmanjaya, head of the Local Search and Rescue Agency of Mamuju, West Sulawesi, said that they lacked heavy equipment to carry out the rescue operation which was already being made difficult because of the lack of communication among rescue teams, as local telephone networks were down following the Friday’s massive Indonesia earthquake.
Social media also began trending with the incident with people sharing pictures of the aftermath of the disaster onine.