A strong inland and shallow natural disaster hit eastern Indonesia early Friday causing people to panic in parts of the country's Sulawesi island and run to higher ground.
"We are working double time to help injured survivors, keep them safe from COVID-19 and provide relief to the thousands who have been displaced from their homes". "That number could grow but we hope it won't". More than 4,000 people died, numerous victims buried when whole neighbourhoods were swallowed in the falling ground.
Landslides occurred in three locations and blocked a main road connecting Mamuju to the Majene district, a spokesperson for the disaster agency said.
At least 34 people were confirmed dead and more than 200 injured but authorities were still collecting information from devastated areas.
Rescuers are searching through the rubble of a partially-collapsed Indonesian hospital after a deadly natural disaster struck the island of Sulwesi, leaving at least 30 dead, the BBC reports.
Ali Rahman, head of the local disaster mitigation agency said there were 26 dead in Mamuju city alone.
At the hospital in Mamuju, a rescuer explained: "There are patients and hospital employees trapped under the rubble and we're now trying to reach them".
Local media have reported that six patients and their families were trapped when parts of the Mitra Manakarra hospital in the town of Mamuju collapsed.
The quake and aftershocks caused three landslides, cut electricity and damaged bridges to regional hubs such as the city of Makassar.
The quake destroyed hundreds of buildings in Mamuju and Majene in West Sulawesi.
The country's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said the quake did not trigger a tsunami based on meteorology and climatology agency modeling.
On Thursday, a magnitude 5.9 quake hit under the sea in the same region, damaging several homes but causing no apparent casualties.
Friday's powerful quake struck 6 km (3.73 miles) northeast of Majene, at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km, just before 1.30 am on Friday, sending thousands of panicked residents out of their homes and fleeing for higher ground.
Earthquakes, volcanos and tsunamis are common in Indonesia due to its location on the "Ring of Fire", which is one of the world's most seismically active areas.
In 2018, a 7.5 magnitude quake in Palu on Sulawesi island set off a tsunami and caused soil to collapse in a phenomenon called liquefaction.