Indonesia, known for being on top of the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” which causes high tectonic activity, has been hit with a 6.2-magnitude earthquake which has left hundreds injured.
The country’s disaster mitigation agency on Friday reported that at least 34 people have been killed.
Thousands flee their homes
Thousands of residents have fled their homes to seek safety following the quake, which people say could be felt strongly five to seven seconds after it happened. The earthquake also damaged at least 300 houses in Majene, the National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) reported.
The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 1:28 a.m. Jakarta time was six kilometers (3.7 miles) northeast of Majene City at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.
In Majene, at least eight people died, 637 were injured and 15,000 residents have been displaced. In the neighboring Mamuju area, an additional 26 deaths were reported.
Rescue efforts are currently underway
Rescuers are currently searching for survivors at a collapsed building in Mamuju City in Indonesia.
“Our obstacle here is that we don’t have heavy equipment to rescue them,” Saidar Rahmanjaya, Head of Local Search and Rescue Agency of Mamuju West Sulawesi, told the local television.
He added that another difficulty is the lack of communication among rescue teams, as the earthquake brought down local telephone networks.
Shalahuddin Salman, a resident of Mamuju, said many people were trapped because they were sleeping when the quake struck in the middle of the night.
“We saved four family members but one still can’t be evacuated,” he told CNN after he and a few others rescued a family from underneath a collapsed building. “(He’s) trapped inside the building. We believe he is dead.”