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Death toll in West Sulawesi's earthquake has climbed to 56: BNPB

The death toll in West Sulawesi's 6.2-magnitude earthquake ensued by several aftershocks that rattled Majene and Mamuju Districts on early Friday has climbed to 56, according to Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

Forty seven residents died in Mamaju District, and nine others died in Majene District owing to the strong earthquake, the agency's spokesperson, Raditya Jati, said in a statement that  received on Sunday.

The earthquake, whose epicenter was located on land, six kilometers northeast of Majene District, at a depth of 10 kilometers, also caused 826 residents to get injured. Majority of the wounded victims were found in Majene, he said.

In Mamuju District, the BNPB recorded that 189 victims sustained serious injuries and were being hospitalized, Jati said, adding that the electricity supplies to several disaster zones had gradually been restored.

As part of emergency measures and mitigation efforts, the officials of disaster mitigation agencies in Majene, Mamuju, and Polewali Mandar Districts were registering locals badly suffering from the impact of the catastrophe.

They also set up temporary shelters for displaced residents, and coordinated mitigation efforts with those from related government agencies, police and military institutions, National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), and volunteers.

The Majene-Mamuju road section has been restored after those from the 1401/Majene district military command's army engineering unit cleaned the highway by using backhoes.

As a result, normal traffic flow could have resumed since Saturday afternoon, he said.

On Saturday, the BNPB had also disbursed Rp4 billion in cash aid to the West Sulawesi provincial government and the district administrations of Mamuju and Majene.

In addition to that, the agency had also distributed relief aid packages to those in dire need, including eight tents for displaced people undergoing self-isolation, 10 tents for refugees, 2,004 nutritious food packs, and 30 power generators.

On the day the powerful earthquake rocked the districts of Majene and Mamuju, some two thousand locals to flee in pursuit of refuge at safer areas, Raditya Jati stated.

The shallow quake, which the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) believe was caused by local fault, also destroyed several buildings, including the governor's office, a military office, and Maleo Hotel.

The earthquake, which also damaged many houses and a public health center, additionally triggered three landslides along the Majene-Mamuju road section and disrupted the transportation of people and goods, Jati revealed.

Earthquakes regularly hit various parts of Indonesia since the country lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

One of the deadliest earthquakes rattling eastern Indonesia occurred in several areas of Central Sulawesi Province on September 28, 2018.

The 7.4-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami that hit the areas of Palu City and the districts of Donggala, Paringi Moutong, and Sigi on Sept 28, 2018, claimed 2,102 lives, injured 4,612, and rendered 680 others missing.

A total of 68,451 homes were seriously damaged, while 78,994 people were displaced.