JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – A 6.2 Richter scale earthquake has struck the West Sulawesi regency of Majene in the early hours of Friday, January 15. The tremors killed 34 persons, injured 637 others, and displaced 15 thousand people.
“The epicenter of the quake is six miles northeast of Majene at a depth of 10 kilometers. The earthquake does not have the potential to cause a tsunami,” said Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency [BMKG] Earthquake and Tsunami Mitigation Head Rahmat Triyono.
"The earthquake, and 5.9 Richter scale quake the previous day, are 'shallow crustal earthquakes' that were caused by thrusting activity on the Mamuju-Majene Shelf."
The West Sulawesi Regional Board for Disaster Management [BPBD] confirmed the BMKG’s findings. “The earthquake hit Majene, particularly the city of Mamuju,” said West Sulawesi BPBD head Darno.
"Over 15 thousand people also fled the area and headed up the surrounding mountains."
The West Sulawesi Provincial Administration reported that the disaster “damaged 62 houses and public buildings, including the governor’s offices, a health clinic, and the local military headquarters.”
“The earthquake also isolated [Majene and Mamuju] from the outside world, after it cut the Trans-Sulawesi road.”
The number of damaged buildings also buried dozens of people in the rubble, including a girl identified as ‘C’. Her plight was made viral in a 44-second video uploaded to Instagram by a user identified as rinaldi_ni.
“’C’ asked for water and gasped for help, and said other children are trapped in the building with her,” said Police Chief Commissioner Syamsu Ridwan, a spokesman for the Regional Police of the neighboring province of South Sulawesi.