PASAMAN, Indonesia (AP) — Searchers in Indonesia continued to dig in the rubble of collapsed buildings and mud from landslides for more victims Saturday, a day after a strong earthquake shook Sumatra island, killing eight people, injuring 86 and leaving thousands displaced.
At least five people were killed in Pasaman district and three people died in the neighboring district of West Pasaman, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said. Rescuers were still searching for six villagers believed to be buried under tons of mud that tumbled down from the surrounding hills triggered by the quake.
The magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 66 kilometers (41 miles) north-northwest of Bukittinggi, a hilly town in West Sumatra province, causing panic on some parts of the island on Friday. It was centered about 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) below the Earth’s surface and people in neighboring Malaysia and Singapore also felt the tremors.
At least 435 houses and buildings were damaged and more than 6,000 people fled their homes to temporary shelters, mostly in devastated areas of Pasaman and West Pasaman districts, the closest areas to the epicenter, agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said in a statement.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines that arcs the Pacific.
The last major earthquake was in January 2021 when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500. More than 92,000 people were displaced after it struck Mamuju and Majene districts in West Sulawesi province.
A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.