At least 37 people have been killed and hundreds injured following a strong earthquake that shook the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia early on Friday morning, prompting landslides and destroying houses.
Thousands of people fled their homes to seek safety when the 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit just after 1am local time on Friday morning. The epicentre was 6km north-east of Majene city in West Sulawesi.
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed or damaged, including a hospital, which collapsed with more than a dozen patients and staff trapped beneath it.
“The hospital is flattened,” said Arianto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, from the rescue agency in Mamuju city, near Majene. Rescuers were also trying to reach a family of eight buried beneath the rubble of their destroyed home, he told AFP.
At least 37 people have been killed in Majene and Mamuju, and rescue workers fear the death toll will rise further. “Many of the dead are buried under rubble,” said Ali Rahman, the head of the local disaster mitigation agency in Mamuju. In Majene, 637 people were said to be injured.