On Friday, the director of the Island's Disaster Management Agency, Ali Rahman, said, "The latest information available indicates that 26 people have been killed, all in Mamuju," and it is likely that the toll will rise after, while the panicked residents have sought refuge in safer areas after many buildings were damaged.
According to what the authorities announced, several buildings, including a hospital, collapsed due to the earthquake, and authorities warned of a tsunami if more earthquakes hit the island.
Earlier, the official in charge of rescue teams in the earthquake-affected city of Mamuju told "Agence France Presse": "The hospital was destroyed, collapsed. There are patients and members of the hospital staff trapped in the rubble and we are trying to evacuate them."
The official suggested that the number of the besieged was between 10 and 20 people, without being able to confirm whether they were alive.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 6 kilometers to the northeast of Mageny, at a depth of 10 kilometers.
Initial information released by the agency showed a number of dead and hundreds of wounded in Mageni, and in the neighboring Mamuju district.
The agency said that thousands of people fled their homes when the earthquake struck shortly after one o'clock on Friday morning local time, and that at least 60 homes were damaged, and the earthquake was felt strongly for 7 seconds.
An earthquake with 5.9 magnitude occurred in the same area hours earlier, on Thursday, and caused damage to a number of homes.
The Disaster Mitigation Agency said that a series of earthquakes occurred during the past 24 hours, and caused at least three landslides and cut off electricity supplies.
Indonesia is located in an area of seismic activity known as the Ring of Fire, according to the Disaster Mitigation Agency. In 2018, thousands died in a devastating earthquake measuring 6.2 magnitude, which caused a tsunami in Palu, Sulawesi.