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UPDATE: At least 34 dead and 600 injured after Indonesia earthquake

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: At least 34 dead and 600 injured after Indonesia earthquake | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Soumyajit Pattnaik via Twitter
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UPDATE: At least 34 people were killed after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sulawesi island just after midnight today. As of this evening, reports say more than 600 people were injured during the earthquake which caused buildings to collapse and residents to flee their homes in the dark.

Original story below…

Indonesian island Sulawesi was shook by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shortly after midnight today, toppling over buildings and injuring hundreds. Reports are continuously being updated as rescuers search through rubble. As of early this afternoon, at least 10 people were killed.

Thousands evacuated their homes in West Sulawesi. The earthquake impacted the coastal city Majene where at least 3 people died and neighbouring Mamuju where at least 7 people died. Several buildings, including hotels, were severely damaged and many homes were flattened. A hospital was partially damaged and reports say more than a dozen patients and staff were trapped under the rubble. Others are trapped in rubble after their homes collapsed. A rescuer says “We are racing against time to rescue them.”

Videos have been released of those crying for help. A father crying, calling out for help to save his children under their home’s wreckage. In another, a girl’s voice cried out from a collapsed home, saying “please help me, it hurts.” The video was released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Rescuers say they need an excavator to say the girl and other people who are trapped under the collapsed buildings.

The area was first hit by a 5.9 magnitude undersea quake on Thursday. It damaged several buildings, but no deaths were reported.

Since the most recent earthquake is inland, the district’s disaster agency chief says it does not have the potential to cause a tsunami, but people in coastal areas ran to higher ground just to be safe.

The vast archipelago is located on the “Ring of Fire” of volcanoes and fault lines, prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Alam

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    It’s more than 34 people died already, so sad and upset.
    Such a tragedy again after a plane crash in the last week.
    May god bless those who passed away. Express our sorrows to the victims family, be strong.

  2. Avatar

    Wartawan

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Unfortunately the earthquake also destroyed a mosque. If it had withstood the tremor owing to its stronger foundations, Allah would have been praised usually for the miracle instead.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Thailand

Indonesian and Thai foreign ministers meet with Myanmar counterpart, seek peace after coup

Caitlin Ashworth

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Indonesian and Thai foreign ministers meet with Myanmar counterpart, seek peace after coup | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

To seek a peaceful solution in Myanmar after the country’s military seized power, foreign ministers of Indonesia and Thailand met with the new, military-appointed foreign minister of Myanmar Wunna Maung Lwinat at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport for a brief, 20 minute discussion.

Both the Indonesian and Thai counterparts say they want peace, but the Indonesian foreign minister says Thailand has a “special position” to play because of its proximity to Myanmar and the number of Burmese nationals in Thailand. The Thai-Myanmar land border is 2,400 kilometres long. There are around 2 million Burmese people who live in Thailand.

With the elected civilian government pushed out and many political leaders arrested, including Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the election for state counsellor in a landslide and also served as the foreign minister, there have been daily protests in Myanmar. A strike on Monday shut a number of businesses. Burmese nationals living in Thailand have even held demonstrations in Bangkok. Some rallied outside the US Embassy in Bangkok, calling on the American government to step in.

The meeting between the 3 foreign ministers was the first overseas visit for a senior Myanmar official since the military coup on February 1. A spokesperson for the Thai Foreign Ministry, Tanee Sangrat, says the ministry insists on peace and stability in Myanmar and hopes to see the situation improve.

“It was also a good opportunity for Thailand to directly listen to Myanmar about issues that Myanmar prioritizes, as well as exchanging opinions on issues important to the people for both countries.”

At a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said she asked her Myanmar counterpart to “prioritise the safety and wellbeing” of the people. She says all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations must respect the principles in the ASEAN Charter which outlines principles of democracy as well as protection for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“This shuttle diplomacy is surely not easy to do during the times of pandemic, but Indonesia has to do it because there are some principles that must be respected…Indonesia chooses not to stay silent…To do nothing is not an option.”

Indonesia has been pushing for a special ASEAN foreign ministerial session to discuss the Myanmar situation. Thai and Indonesian foreign ministers also discussed potentially holding an informal ASEAN meeting in August. The forum has not met in person since the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOURCE: Kyodo News

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World

Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, erupts

Caitlin Ashworth

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Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, erupts | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Associated Press

The most active volcano in Indonesia, Mount Merapi, erupted yesterday, shooting rocks and a cloud of ash into the sky and streaming a river of lava down the side. Local residents within 5 kilometres of the volcano evacuated the area due to the risk of lava flows reaching the roads. Officials say the sounds from the eruption could be heard 30 kilometres away.

Mount Merapi is a 2,963 metre high volcano on Java island near Yogyakarta. Its last major eruption was in 2010. 347 people were killed and around 20,000 residents evacuated.

The vast archipelago is on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire” and is prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Just a week ago, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook Sulawesi island, killing dozens and injuring hundreds.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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Indonesia

Indonesia rolls out Covid-19 vaccinations, president gets first dose

Caitlin Ashworth

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Indonesia rolls out Covid-19 vaccinations, president gets first dose | The Thaiger
PHOTO: President Joko Widodo via Facebook

Indonesia is rolling out its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign with President Joko Widodo as the first in the country to get jabbed with China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine.

Indonesia approved the vaccine for emergency use earlier this week. It’s the first large-scale use of the Sinovac vaccine outside of China. Thailand has also made an agreement to purchase the 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac BioTech shots. The first batch of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive in Thailand next month.

The Thai company Siam Bioscience is producing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Oxford University. That vaccine is set to be available to the Thai public in May.

After Indonesia’s president was vaccinated, top military, police and medical officials in the country were injected with the vaccine. The secretary of the Indonesian Ulema Council were also vaccinated. The council recently agreed that the vaccine is halal, permissible for Muslims.

Mass vaccination in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populated country with 181.5 million people, will be rolled out over the next few months. Vaccines will be free for all Indonesian citizens. Health care workers, civil servants and those at risk of infection are first priority.

To vaccinate two-thirds of the population with the 2-shot vaccine, the country’s health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin says around 427 million doses are needed.

“This vaccine is given to achieve herd immunity. All 70% of the world’s people must be vaccinated for that to be achieved. The participation of all Indonesians will greatly determine the success of this program.”

SOURCE: Associated Press

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