Indonesia at the weekend was hit by a powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake that has killed at least 73 people, the latest in a string of catastrophes in the country since the start of the New Year.
The earthquake struck in West Sulawesi province, the nation's disaster mitigation agency confirmed Sunday. The agency said that more than 820 people had been injured after the tremors toppled homes and other buildings.
Indonesian authorities said that more than 27,800 people had been forced to evacuate the region. Some people had attempted to seek refuge in the mountains, while other were in crowded evacuation centers.
An official with the disaster agency the calamities caused some chaos in the province. The agency said that the government had already deployed military and police officers to crack down on looting in several parts of the region.
Rescue workers and military troops had also been deployed to help in rescue efforts. Dozens of residents have remained unaccounted for and rescue workers are scouring through debris to find survivors.
Rescue workers are being placed on high alert over the next two weeks. The head of the country's meteorological, climatology and geophysical agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said that additional tremors could potentially trigger tsunamis.
Indonesia is located right within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire. The country is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2018, the country was hit with a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that resulted in large tsunamis that killed tens of thousands of people.
Just a couple of weeks into 2021 and Indonesia has already been ravaged by several disasters. Before the latest earthquake, the country was hit with heavy rains that caused floods and landslides in North Sulawesi and South Kalimantan provinces. At least 29 people were confirmed to have been killed.
Over the weekend, East Java's Semeru volcano erupted and spewed hot ash 3.5 miles into the sky. Fortunately, no casualties had been reported after people were immediately evacuated from the area around the active volcano.
Earlier in the month, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the sea. All 62 passengers and crew members on board were killed.