The earthquake on the island of Celebes in Indonesia now stands at 56 dead, authorities said on Sunday, while rescuers continued to search the rubble for survivors.
The magnitude 6.2 earthquake, which occurred early in the morning Friday, left thousands homeless and injured hundreds. It triggered panic among the inhabitants of the west of the island of Celebes, already devastated in 2018 by a very strong earthquake followed by a devastating tsumani which left 4,300 dead.
For two days, dozens of lifeless bodies have been removed from the rubble of collapsed buildings in Mamuju, the provincial capital. Other victims were found further south, where a strong aftershock was felt on Saturday morning.
Food and emergency equipment were dispatched to the island by planes and boats, and the navy sent a medical ship to supplement the still functioning hospitals, overwhelmed by the influx of wounded.
While thousands of people have lost their homes, others do not want to return home for fear of aftershocks or a tsunami like in 2018.
“It’s better to take shelter in case something worse happens,” said Mamuju resident Abdul Wahab, who had taken refuge in a tent with his wife and four children, including a baby. “We hope the government can quickly send us aid, food, medicine and milk for the children,” he adds.
Worried about a possible outbreak of Covid-19 in overcrowded camps, the authorities have announced that they will try to form groups of people according to the risks.
The epicenter of the magnitude 6.2 earthquake was located 36 km south of Mamuju, at a relatively shallow depth of 18 km.
Landslides that followed the earthquake and heavy rains cut off access to one of the province’s main roads.
The airport was also damaged as well as a hotel and the seat of the governor while part of the city remains without electricity.
Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.
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