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Jeddah – Yasmine El Tohamy – JAKARTA, Indonesia: A strong, shallow earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sulawesi island early Friday, causing landslides and sending people fleeing from their homes in the nighttime darkness.
At least three people were killed and large buildings including a hotel collapsed, authorities said.
The magnitude 6.2 quake early Friday was centered 36 kilometers (22 miles) south of West Sulawesi province’s Mamuju district, at a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
“Three people are dead and 24 are injured,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Raditya Jati.
In a video released by the agency, a girl trapped in the wreckage of a house cried out for help and said her mother was alive but unable to move out. “Please help me, it’s hurt,” the girl told rescuers, who replied that they desperately wanted to help her.
In the video, the rescuers said an excavator was needed to save them. Other images in the video showed a severed bridge and damaged and even flattened houses. TV stations reported the earthquake damaged part of a hospital and patients were moved to an emergency tent outside.
Another video showed a father cried hopeless, asking help from people to save his children buried under tons of his house rubble. “My children there… they are trapped inside, please help,” he cried in panic.
About 2,000 displaced people were evacuated to several temporary shelters. The magnitude 6.2 quake early Friday was centered 36 kilometers (22 miles) south of West Sulawesi province’s Mamuju district, at a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
At least 62 houses, a public health center and a military office were damaged in Mamuju and landslides were set off in three locations and blocked a main road connecting Mamuju to the Majene district, said Raditya Jati, the disaster agency’s spokesperson. He said the agency is still collecting data from areas struck by the quake.
On Thursday, a magnitude 5.9 quake hit under the sea in the same region, damaging several homes but causing no apparent casualties.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.
On December 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.
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