Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to at least 34: Authorities

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At least 34 people have been killed in an earthquake that rocked Indonesia’s Sulawesi island early Friday, levelling a hospital and severely damaging other buildings, authorities said.

Ali Rahman, head of the local disaster mitigation agency said there were 26 dead in Mamuju city alone.

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“That number could grow but we hope it won’t... Many of the dead are buried under rubble.”

Separately, the national disaster agency said at least eight people had died in an area south of Mamuju, a city of some 110,000 in West Sulawesi province, where the majority of deaths were confirmed.

Indonesia issued warnings of a potential tsunami early on Friday if more strong quakes hit Sulawesi, after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the island, the chief of Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics agency (BMKG) said on Friday.

Strong aftershocks could follow the earthquake, Dwikorita Karnawati said.

Karnawati told a news conference there had been at least 26 aftershocks after two strong quakes had rocked the area since Thursday afternoon.

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