Death toll from earthquake in Indonesia climbs to 81

Jakarta (SONNA)-The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island on Jan. 15 has risen to 81, the country’s disaster agency said late Sunday.

The National Disaster Management Agency reported that the bodies of eight people were found during search and rescue operations.

A total of 70 people were killed in Mamuju Regency and 11 in Majene Regency after the magnitude 6.2 quake struck six kilometers (3.73 miles) northeast of Majene city at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

Authorities reported Saturday that 253 seriously injured people were treated in hospitals in the region and the number of those evacuated to safe areas was approximately 28,000.

Several buildings were severely damaged, including the office of the West Sulawesi governor, Mamuju Hospital and a minimarket.

The strong quake also caused power and phone service outages and landslides along roads.

Earthquakes regularly strike parts of Indonesia since the country lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire.

On Feb. 23, 1969, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 rocked Majene, killing 64 people and injuring 96 others.

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