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Earthquake kills 34 in Indonesia

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HUNDREDS more were injured when the tremor struck Sulawesi island early today.

  A powerful earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island today  killing at least 34 people, levelling a hospital and severely damaging other buildings.

  Indonesian Local Disaster Mitigation Agency  Authority, Ali Rahman, says hundreds more were injured when the 6.2-magnitude quake struck in the early hours, triggering panic among the terrified residents of the Island, which suffered the same fate and tsunami two and a half years ago, leading to the death of several thousand people.

  “The latest information we have is that 26 people are dead in Mamuju city and the number could grow”. Rahman said.

  He added, “many of the dead are buried under rubble,”

  Separately, the national disaster agency said at least eight people had died in an area south of Mamuju, a city of some 110,000 in West Sulawesi province, bringing the total death toll to 34.

  According to source, rescuers were searching for more than a dozen patients and staff trapped beneath the rubble of the levelled Mamuju hospital.

  “The hospital is flattened – it collapsed,” Arianto from the rescue agency in Mamuju city said.

  “There are patients and hospital employees trapped under the rubble and we are now trying to reach them,” he added, without giving a specific figure.

  He further stated that rescuers are also trying to reach a family of eight trapped under the rubble of their destroyed home.

  The country’s search-and-rescue agency said at least one hotel had partially collapsed after the quake struck at 2:18 am local time today, while the regional governor’s office also suffered extensive damage.

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  Anonymous eyewitness Mamuju resident said damage across the city was severe.

Another source identified as Hendra, 28-year-old said, “roads are cracked and many buildings collapsed.

   “The quake was very strong… I woke up and ran away with my wife.”.

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