Aftershocks shake Indonesia as earthquake death toll rises to 46

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Rescuers combed through the rubble of crumbling buildings in Mamuju, Indonesia, searching for survivors of a 6.2-magnitude earthquake, as strong aftershocks shook the region.

So far 46 deaths and more than 820 injuries are attributed to the quake, which was centered just south of the city of about 110,000 people in West Sulawesi province early Friday.

The temblor flattened a hospital, destroyed a shopping mall, damaged two hotels, the regional government offices and the city’s airport. No major damage was attributed to Saturday’s 5.0-magnitude aftershock.

Multiple, smaller aftershocks rocked the area as well.

It’s not clear how many people are believed trapped under leveled buildings, though authorities were focusing on the hotels. At least a dozen patients and staff remained missing after the hospital collapsed.

Rescue supplies are flowing to the island about 900 miles northwest of the capital Jakarta, and the Indonesian Navy is reportedly sending a medical ship to the damaged area to help treat hundreds of injured.

About 15,000 residents have fled to temporary shelters, local authorities said.

Authorities are concerned about another aftershock of greater magnitude and warned residents to stay away from the sea because of the risk of a tsunami.

Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake in Palu, about 250 miles north of Mamuju on Sulawesi Island, and the subsequent tsunami it triggered killed more than 4,300 people on the island.

With Post Wires

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