Mamuju, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesian rescuers have recovered more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings destroyed by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake, raising the death toll to 56 on Sunday, while military engineers were able to reopen torn roads to give access to relief items.
Raditiya Jati, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said that more heavy equipment had arrived in the hardest-hit city of Mamuju and the neighboring Majin district of Sulawesi Island, where the quake struck Friday night.
Power supplies and telephone connections also began to improve.
Thousands have been displaced and more than 800 have been injured, Gatti said, and more than half of them are still receiving treatment for serious injuries. A total of 47 people were killed in Mamuju and nine in Mageni.
At least 415 homes in Mageny have been damaged, Gatti said, and 15,000 people have been moved to shelters. The agency is still collecting data from the region.
In Mamuju, the capital of the province of 300,000, collapsed buildings were strewn with debris. The quake nearly rattled the governor’s office building, turning a shopping mall into a dilapidated structure. Two hospitals were damaged.
The Disaster Control Agency said the Army Corps of Engineers had cleared the road linking Mamuju and Majin which had been blocked by landslides. They also rebuilt a ruined bridge,
Many residents of Sulawesi are still haunted by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that devastated Palu in 2018 and triggered a tsunami that caused the soil to collapse in a phenomenon called liquefaction. More than 4,000 people were killed, including many who were buried when whole lives were swallowed up in the fallen ground.
Indonesia, home to more than 260 million people, is frequently hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
A massive 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the island of Sumatra in western Indonesia in December 2004 triggered a tsunami that claimed 230,000 lives in a dozen countries.
I mentioned Carmini from Jakarta, Indonesia.