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6.2 Earthquake Strikes West Sulawesi

Earthquake Strikes West Sulawesi
6.2 Earthquake Strikes West Sulawesi, Tsunami Anticipated

An earthquake in Majene Regency, West Sulawesi, has affected 637 people with minor injuries, leaving eight people dead, and 15,000 people have been forced to flee.

National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) also noted various urgent needs for displaced residents, namely basic necessities, blankets, mats, tents, medical services, tarpaulins, heavy equipment, communication equipment, staple foods, masks, medicines, vitamins, and other essential needs.

There are 10 evacuation points located in high-valley areas: Lombong, Kayu Angin, Petabean, Deking, Mekata, Kabkir, Lakkading, Lembang, and Limbua in Ulumanda District and Malunda District, as well as Sendana District.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 occurred on Thursday 14th January at 2:35pm local time, and was followed by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 on Friday 15th January at 2:28 am local time.

Head of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati, warned of the potential for aftershocks that could trigger a tsunami in West Sulawesi.

“We need to convey first that there is still the potential for a further aftershock which could reach a strength like the 6.2 one or slightly higher,” he said.

He warned of the potential for a tsunami as well. Because the rock conditions have been shaken by the earthquake 28 times, as well as the epicentre being on the coast, it’s possible that underwater landslides could occur to trigger tsunamis.

“We urge people in the affected areas not only to stay away from vulnerable buildings or buildings in general but also if they happen to be on the beach and feel earthquake shocks, they should immediately move away from the beach. There is no need to wait for a tsunami early warning.”

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