International Asia Sulawesi earthquake: Rescuers scramble to find survivors

Sulawesi earthquake: Rescuers scramble to find survivors

Most of the 81 dead were found in Mamuju, but some bodies were also recovered south of the city. At least 18 people were pulled out of the rubble alive

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At least 81 people have died, with more than 250 seriously injured, after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on Friday (Jan 15).

According to an update on Monday (Jan 18) by disaster mitigation spokesman Raditya Jati, rescue workers have stepped up efforts to find people buried beneath the rubble.

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 1:28 a.m. Jakarta time, was six kilometers (3.7 miles) northeast of the city of Majene, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

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According to the country’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), the quake could be felt strongly for five to seven seconds and damaged at least 300 houses in Majene.

Saidar Rahmanjaya, head of the Local Search and Rescue Agency of Mamuju, West Sulawesi, said that some of the obstacles faced by local teams were the lack of heavy equipment and a lack of communication among rescue teams, as local telephone networks were down following the quake.

On Monday, it was reported that more than 19,000 people were left homeless, with buildings in Mamuju reduced to a tangled mass of twisted metal and concrete.

Most of the 81 dead were found in Mamuju, but some bodies were also recovered south of the city of 110,000 people in West Sulawesi province, an Al Jazeera report said.

At least 18 people had been pulled out of the rubble alive, including a pair of young sisters, according to official data.

Indonesia has been hit by a series of disasters in the past week, including a plane crash, landslides, flooding and  volcanic eruptions. /TISG

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