(CMR) At least 67 people are dead and hundreds of others are injured after an earthquake hit Indonesia early on Friday.
The epicenter of the quake struck the Sulawesi island at 1:28 am Jakarta time, six kilometers (3.7 miles) northeast of the city of Majene, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency reported.
Thousands fled their homes in darkness, but many were trapped in the collapsed buildings. Many homes, a hospital and a Governornor's office were among buildings that collapsed.
Thirty-four people died in the city of Mamuju, to the north of the epicenter, while another eight died in Majene.
At least 637 were injured and 15,000 residents displaced in Majene, the country's National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said.
President Joko Widodo said in a televised address that he had given orders for emergency response measures and search and rescue operations to be carried out as quickly as possible.
However, rescue workers said their efforts to find survivors was hampered by a lack of heavy equipment.
Indonesia's meteorology, climatology, and geophysical agency, BMKG, warned that there could still be danger from aftershocks and the potential for a tsunami.
People who live in coastal areas were advised to move to higher ground as a precautionary measure.
Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Palu on Sulawesi island set off a tsunami and caused the soil to collapse in a phenomenon called liquefaction. More than 4,000 people died as the falling ground swallowed whole neighborhoods.
A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia in 2004.