At Least 96 Killed, Nearly 70,000 Displaced As Quake, Floods Hit Indonesia

The death toll in the central parts of Indonesia from a strong earthquake and floods has risen to 96, with almost 70,000 people forced to flee home and take shelter, the National Disaster Management Agency said Monday.

After the 6.2-magnitude quake and the 5.9-magnitude aftershock hit West Sulawesi province on Thursday and Friday, a total of 81 people were killed and 15 people were confirmed dead in South Kalimantan province as floods have hit the province since January 14, Agency Speaker Raditya Jati said, reports Xinhua.

The quakes forced about 28,000 people to take shelter in 25 evacuation centers in the city of Mamuju and Majene district of West Sulawesi province, while the floods caused almost 40,000 others to take shelter in the province of South Kalimantan, Jati said.

The number of houses damaged by the quakes rose to 1,150 units in the district, and five school buildings were also destroyed there, he said.

The assessment of risks of the quakes in the city and the district was still going on, Jati said.

Fearing the possibility of further spread of Covid-19 among the evacuees, rapid tests will be applied to them and the shelters for the displaced people will be separated from each other, according to the agency’s head Doni Monardo.

“There will be antigen tests to ensure that the evacuees have not been infected by the Covid-19 virus,” Monardo said.

Meanwhile, in South Kalimantan province, the floods have inundated nearly 25,000 houses, jati said.

Since January 14, emergency status has been declared there and a risk assessment has been performed, he said.

After heavy rains pounded the region, the province has been hit by major floods since Jan 14, according to the agency.

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