Mamuju residents observe the ruins of the West Sulawesi governor office building destroyed by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake early on Friday. (Antara Photo/Akbar Tado)

West Sulawesi Earthquake Kills at Least 21


JANUARY 15, 2021

Jakarta. At least21 people killed were and more than 2,000 people were displaced after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Majene and Mamuju in West Sulawesi early on Friday, destroying many buildings with a hotel and governor office were among the heavily damaged ones. 

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that the region experienced more than 47 shocks since Thursday, culminating in the 6.2 magnitude quake that happened at 02:28 a.m. Central Indonesia Time on Friday. The agency determined the earthquake's epicenter at 6 kilometers northeast of Majene.


“We have evacuated at least 21 bodies in joint rescue works with the National Search and Rescue Agency [Basarnas]," a volunteer identified as Anshar Tahir was quoted by Jakarta Globe's sister publication Beritasatu.

Anshar said the death toll could grow as scores were buried by the rubble.

Hotel Maleo and the West Sulawesi governor's office were heavily damaged as well as 62 houses, a community health center (Puskesmas), and a military command office. 

"The electricity grid is still out after the earthquake," Raditya Jati, the head of the center for disaster data, information, and communication at the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), said in a statement. 

BNPB's local chaprter reported that a landslide had occurred at three points along the Majene-Mamuju main road, cutting off the two regions' road access.

Raditya said that around 2,000 residents had fled their homes to a safer place. The local disaster agency was helping the injured victims, evacuation, data collection, and establishing evacuation posts.

"The current urgent needs are in the form of necessities, blankets and mats, family tents, medical services, and tarpaulins," he said.

Air Vice-Marshal Indan Gilang Buldansyah, the head of the Indonesian Air Force Information Service (Kadispenau), said C-130 Hercules aircraft from Sultan Hassanuddin Air Base and Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Base were on standby to deliver the logistics to West Sulawesi. 

The Air Force also readied a Super Puma NAS-332 helicopter and CN 295 aircraft for search and rescue support, he said. 


The story has been updated with the latest casulaty toll.