Rescuers search for survivors at a collapsed building in Mamuju city on January 15, 2021, after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Sulawesi island AFP

A strong earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island just after midnight Friday

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has expressed deep shock over the loss of many lives and resources in a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Indonesia.

A strong earthquake shook the country’s Sulawesi Island just after midnight Friday, toppling homes and buildings, triggering landslides and killing at least 34 people.

More than 600 people were injured during the strong quake, which sent people fleeing their homes in the darkness.

Also, there were reports of many people trapped in the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings. Thousands of displaced people were evacuated to temporary shelters.

In a message to his Indonesian counterpart Retno LP Marsudi, Dr Momen expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the Indonesian government, people of the country, and the members of the bereaved families.

Also Read – Powerful Indonesia quake kills 42

The foreign minister hoped that the resilient and enterprising people of Indonesia would overcome the disaster and return to normal life.

The Indonesian disaster agency said the death toll climbed to 34 as rescuers in Mamuju retrieved 26 bodies trapped in the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings.

The agency said at least 300 houses and a health clinic were damaged and about 15,000 people were being housed in temporary shelters in the district. Power and phones were down in many areas.

Also, Indonesia’s meteorology, climatology and geophysical agency warned of the dangers of aftershocks and the potential for a tsunami.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, 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, many of the victims buried when whole neighbourhoods were swallowed in the falling ground.

A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

Dr Momen said: “Officials and rescue workers of Bangladesh and Indonesia can take part in joint earthquake drills and simulation exercises as both countries are disaster-prone.”

He also reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment to work with the international community on disaster risk reduction and global climate change adaptation and mitigation issues.

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