Initial information from the national disaster mitigation agency showed that 637 people had been injured in Majene, and two dozen in Mamuju.
No tsunami warning was issued but the head of Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati, told a news conference that aftershocks could follow, with a possibility that another powerful quake could trigger a tsunami.
There had been at least 26 aftershocks, she said, with Friday’s quake preceded by a 5.9 magnitude quake on Thursday afternoon.
West Sulawesi provincial government spokesman Safaruddin said authorities needed to restore telecommunications, mend several damaged bridges and deliver tents, food and medical supplies.
Pictures of the aftermath appeared on social media as the head of the disaster agency and social affairs minister were scheduled to fly in.
Videos showed residents fleeing to higher ground on motorcycles, and a child trapped under the rubble as people tried to remove debris with their hands.
Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia
is regularly hit by earthquakes.
In 2018, a devastating 6.2-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands.
A 9.1 magnitude quake off the north of Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Boxing Day 2004 triggered a tsunami that swept over coastal areas of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other countries, killing more than 230,000 people.
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