An aftershock hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on Saturday as rescue workers searched for people trapped under rubble after an earthquake killed at least 45 people, injured hundreds and sent thousands fleeing in terror.
Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said no damage or casualties were reported from the Magnitude 5.0 aftershock in the West Sulawesi districts of Mamuju and Majene a day after the Magnitude 6.2 earthquake.Authorities have not given a figure for the number of residents who could be trapped under levelled buildings, including a hospital that collapsed with more than a dozen patients and staff inside.
At least one hotel had partially collapsed, while the regional governor’s office also suffered extensive damage.
Solidarity from Pope
About 15,000 residents have fled to temporary shelters and nearly 190 people were being treated for serious injuries, local authorities said.
The Pope said he was “saddened” to learn of the earthquake.
“His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this natural disaster,” the Vatican said in a statement.
“He prays for the repose of the deceased, the healing of the injured and the consolation of all who grieve.”Images from the scene Friday showed residents trying to flee Mamuju in cars and motorbikes as they drove past corrugated metal roofs and other building debris scattered on the roadside.
But landslides triggered by heavy rains and the quake blocked the main access road out of the seaside city.
The meteorological agency warned residents that the area could be hit by strong aftershocks and to avoid the beachfront in case of a tsunami.
The city’s airport had also been damaged, authorities said.
The Indonesian Red Cross said it was rushing medical and relief supplies to the scene, with its teams working to help find trapped residents.