A strong earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, causing landslides and sending people fleeing from their homes early on Friday. The quake measuring 6.2 on Richter scale left more than seven people dead and hundreds of others injured, Indonesia’s disaster management agency said.
The epicentre of the quake was six kilometres northeast of the city of Majene, at a depth of 10 kilometres.
The disaster mitigation agency said a hotel and the office of the West Sulwesi governor were severely damaged, and electricity supplies were also down.
Nearly 2,000 displaced people were evacuated to several temporary shelters.
At least 62 houses, a public health centre 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.
Straddling the so-called Pacific ‘ring of fire’, Indonesia, a nation of high tectonic activity, is regularly hit by earthquakes.