2021 Sulawesi earthquake

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2021 West Sulawesi earthquake
Shake map of 2021 Majene earthquake.jpg
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UTC time2021-01-14 18:28:18
ISC event619717479
 619715767
USGS-ANSSComCat
 ComCat
Local date15 January 2021
Local time02:28 WITA
Magnitude6.2 Mw
Depth18.0 km
Epicentre2°58′34″S 118°54′04″E / 2.976°S 118.901°E / -2.976; 118.901Coordinates: 2°58′34″S 118°54′04″E / 2.976°S 118.901°E / -2.976; 118.901
FaultMamuju - Majene Thrust Fault
TypeReverse
Areas affectedWest Sulawesi, Indonesia
Max. intensityVIII (Severe)
TsunamiNone
LandslidesYes
Foreshocks5.7 Mw
Aftershocks4.9 Mw
Casualties42 dead[1][2]
820+ injured[3]

The 2021 West Sulawesi earthquake struck the Majene Regency, in the province of West Sulawesi, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on 15 January at 02:28 WITA with a moment magnitude of Mw 6.2. This earthquake was felt as far away as Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi, and Palu in Central Sulawesi. Several buildings were also reportedly destroyed in neighboring cities, including a three-storey building in Mamuju.[4] At least 42 people are confirmed dead and 820 more are injured.[1][3] It was preceded by a foreshock measuring 5.7 a few hours earlier.[5][6]

Tectonic setting[edit source | edit]

Sulawesi lies within the complex zone of interaction between the Australian, Pacific, Philippine and Sunda Plates in which many small microplates are developed.[7] The main active structure onshore in the western part of Central Sulawesi is the left-lateral NNW-SSE Palu-Koro strike-slip fault that forms the boundary between the North Sula and Makassar blocks and was responsible for the destructive Palu earthquake in 2018.[8][9] According to the interpretation of GPS data, the Makassar block is currently rotating anticlockwise, with its northwestern margin showing convergence with the Sunda block across the Makassar Strait. The main structure in that part of Sulawesi is the offshore, north–south trending, moderately east-dipping Makassar Thrust. The GPS data also support the presence of a seismically "locked" fault in the Makassar Strait.[8] Seismic reflection data from the Makassar Strait support the presence of active thrusting west of the Makassar block. The Majene/Kalosi fold and thrust belt is exposed onshore between Majene and Mamuju. The northern part of the Makassar Strait is interpreted as a foreland basin, with its subsidence caused by the loading of this active thrust belt.[10]

Earthquake[edit source | edit]

The earthquake struck at a shallow depth of 18 km with its epicenter located in Majene Regency, West Sulawesi. According to the USGS, a Mercalli Intensity of VIII (Severe) was recorded. The Indonesian BMKG stated that an intensity of VI (Strong) was felt in Majene for 5-7 seconds.[11] The shaking was felt in neighboring cities, as far away as Makassar to the south and Palu to the north. The earthquake happened along the Mamuju–Majene thrust fault, which runs close to the city of Mamuju, West Sulawesi.[12][13]This fault was also responsible for a massive earthquake in 1969 near Majene, which killed 64 people.[14][13] That earthquake also caused a massive tsunami and landslides, damaging at least 1,200 houses. A major earthquake in the region is expected to occur every 75 years. BMKG stated that the fault was overdue for another large earthquake as the last damaging earthquake happened in 1969.[13]

Foreshock[edit source | edit]

Approximately 12 hours before the mainshock, a day before the mainshock, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck immediately northwest of the mainshock, triggering multiple landslides and destroying two houses in Majene. The foreshock was recorded in Majene with the Mercalli intensity scale as V-VI (Moderate to Strong), at a depth of 10 km, located 4 km from Majene.[15] The foreshock was felt as far away as South Kalimantan.[16][17] The foreshock reportedly caused 26 aftershocks. Dozens of people reportedly evacuated due to fears of a tsunami.[18] It left one person injured.[19]

Aftershock[edit source | edit]

A magnitude 4.9 aftershock struck at 23:32 UTC (early Saturday morning local time) and a depth of only 10km.[20] The aftershock was located at 20 km from Majene and was felt with an intensity of III on the Mercalli Intensity Scale. There were no reports of injuries or damage caused by the tremor.[21]

BMKG warned that residents should be aware of possible strong aftershocks that could cause an undersea landslide, which subsequently might cause a tsunami. BMKG later advised coastal residents to immediately evacuate if residents felt strong shaking, citing that in 1969 a similarly large earthquake had struck the region and caused a massive tsunami without warning. Analysis made by BMKG showed that the fault might still have adequate energy to cause another destructive earthquake in the next few days, as it may trigger the nearby faults located around the Mamuju Fault.[22] Government of West Sulawesi later advised coastal residents to evacuate to higher grounds due to threats of tsunami.[23]

Damage[edit source | edit]

Damage caused by the foreshock

Severe damage was reported across Majene Regency and in several area in Mamuju Regency. West Sulawesi's Gubernatorial Building, which was located in West Sulawesi's capital Mamuju, was destroyed in the quake. Two people were reportedly trapped beneath the ruins.[24] Parts of Hotel Maleo in Mamuju also reportedly collapsed. Meanwhile, a section of Mirta Manakarra Hospital, a main hospital in Majene also collapsed, trapping at least 6 people inside.[25][26][27][28] Mamuju's main hospital also reportedly suffered extensively, with 50% of its structure were reportedly damaged by the quake. Hundreds of patients had to be treated outside of the hospital due to fear of collapse.[29]

Telecommunications reportedly went down and blackouts were reported as multiple power stations were damaged in the quake.[30] AirNav Indonesia reported that its office in Mamuju Tampa Padang Airport was severely damaged in the quake. The ATC tower in the airport was also damaged. Navigational operation was diverted to Makassar ATC, while airport navigation in Mamuju was conducted in minimal effort due to the extensive damage.[31]

Mamuju Penitentiary facility suffered damage as well, injuring at least 3 people. The perimeter fence of the penitentiary was reportedly destroyed.[32] At least one Community Health Centre (Puskesmas) was destroyed in the quake. A military district office in Malunda was also severely damaged.[33] At least 2 main hospitals in West Sulawesi were destroyed in the earthquake, while three hospitals remain operational.[34] Further assessment revealed that three Community Health Centres had been destroyed by the quake.[35]

Ministry of Education reported that at least 15 schools were either damaged or destroyed in the quake, most of which were in Majene. At least one elementary school and two high schools in Majene were destroyed while the others suffered damage ranging from slight damage to heavy damage. In Mamuju at least six schools were damaged by the earthquake.[36]

Immediate assessment made by the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency revealed that at least 62 houses had been destroyed in the earthquake.[37] The number later rose to the hundreds. In Majene, at least 300 houses were damaged by the quake.[38] An official from West Sulawesi's Regional Government stated that at least a half of all structures in Mamuju had been destroyed by the tremor.[39]

Casualties[edit source | edit]

In the immediate aftermath, at least 4 people were killed and 600 people were injured in the quake. More than 2,000 people evacuated to evacuation centers.[40] The death toll later rose to 27 and about 637 people were injured and 15,000 people were displaced.[41][42] Death toll later rose again to 35 as more bodies were recovered by search and rescue personnel. At least 26 were from Mamuju, while 9 others were from Majene.[43] On the night of 15 January, BNPB stated that 42 people had been killed in the earthquake. Most of the victims were residents from the provincial capital, Mamuju.[34] Most were found inside their home, as the earthquake struck at night, when most people were asleep. Dozens were still trapped inside collapsed structures. At least 2 people were killed after a section of Mamuju's Mitra Manakarra Hospital collapsed.[44]

Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management stated that at least 189 people in Mamuju Regency were severely injured. In Majene Regency, at least 637 people were slightly injured. Several of the injured have been evacuated to field hospitals.[45] Some severely injured survivors were flown to Makassar for further treatment.[46]

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, the majority of the residents of Mamuju had evacuated from the city. At least 10 evacuation centers had been prepared for the survivors of the quake. Survivors were also asked to go to Majene's Stadium and Mamuju's Gubernatorial Office.[47]

Response[edit source | edit]

Central government[edit source | edit]

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini to visit the disaster area to supervise the aid distribution in the area. He later sent condolences to the relatives of the victims and hoped for a quick recovery for the survivors and those who were affected.[48] Tri Rismaharini stated that aids and logistics will be brought from Makassar. She later ordered local members of Tagana (Taruna Siaga Bencana) and LDP (Layanan Dukungan Psikososial) to the affected areas. Members of Tagana were deployed to assist rescuers in the search and rescue operation. Essential goods will be distributed in multiple phases.[49] The Ministry of Social Affairs stated that a total of Rp 1.7 billion (approx $US 1.2 million) of aid had been distributed to the people who were affected by the quake.[50]

Ministry of Transportation reassured that two airports in Majene-Mamuju would remain operational, including Mamuju Tampa Padang Airport, which was damaged in the earthquake.[51] Ministry of Public Works and Housing will provide clean water and sanitation for the evacuees.[52] Ministry of Telecommunications and Information announced that at least 122 base transceiver stations had been damaged in the quake. The Ministry will send a Very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) to Majene and Mamuju.[53] Ministry of Religious Affairs stated that funds collected from zakat and sadaqah will be distributed to residents who were affected.[54] Minister of Manpower Ida Fauziah stated that Mobile Training Unit (MTU) and Quick Reaction Unit (URC) will be mobilized to the region to ensure swift distribution of aids.[55]

The Indonesian Air Force announced that it will send a Boeing 737 to Majene to assist with the search and rescue operation.[56] Meanwhile, the Indonesian Navy will send two ships to Mamuju, including a hospital ship.[57] Additionaly, two battalions from the Indonesian Navy will be deployed to Mamuju and Majene. Excavator and other types of aids will be also given by the army.[58]

The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) announced that it will send 4 helicopters to Majene. The Head of BNPB, Doni Monardo, will also visit the area affected by the disaster.[59] Another 3 team of personnel will be sent to Mamuju and Majene from Makassar. The team will carry 10 sets of portable extrication devices for vehicle accident rescue. Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency stated that several ships had been deployed to Mamuju and Majene.[60]

Indonesian National Police stated that at least 136 personnel had been dispatched to assist in the search and rescue effort. Aids from the police include ambulances, solar cells and military solar kits, 15 medical teams, a team of Disaster Victims Identification unit (DVI), two gensets and four personnel from Information, Communication and Technology Division.[61]

Regional government[edit source | edit]

The government of South Sulawesi reportedly sent logistics and personnel to assist with the search and rescue effort in Majene and Mamuju, but it was hampered as the roads to Majene and Mamuju were cut off due to the earthquake. Logistics were later sent via sea transport.[62] The governor of South Sulawesi province, Nurdin Abdullah, will visit Majene to observe the damage in the area and to assist with the search and rescue operation.[63] The city of Palopo will send logistics and will deploy 18 medical personnel and 8 firefighters to West Sulawesi.[64]

The Regional Police of South Sulawesi also sent personnel, water treatment equipment and other kinds of aids to Mamuju and Majene to assist the relief effort.[65] Central Sulawesi Regional Police sent 30 Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob) and medical team to nearby Mamuju and Majene in West Sulawesi for the relief effort.[61]

West Sulawesi Regional Disaster Agency stated that the search and rescue effort in Mamuju was overwhelmed due to a lack of personnel. Search and rescue personnel initially had been dispatched to the nearby Polewali Mandar Regency as a flash flood had just struck the area. Additional personnel were called from Balikpapan, Jakarta, and Makassar to assist with the search and rescue operation. The lack of heavy equipment also hampered the search and rescue effort.[66]

Others[edit source | edit]

National Electric Company (PLN) stated that, as of the afternoon of 15 January, at least 460 power stations out of 872 have been repaired. Hundreds of PLN personnel had been dispatched to the disaster area. PLN stated that additional personnel will be called from neighboring cities including Parepare, Palopo, Palu and Pinrang.[67]

Head of Indonesian Red Cross and Former Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated that they will send personnel from Palu and Makassar to the area. Family kits and other basic needs were also sent to Mamuju and Majene. An assessment team and 10 doctors from Hasanuddin University.[68]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "At least 42 killed after strong quake rocks Indonesia's Sulawesi". CNA. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  2. https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/14/asia/indonesia-sulawesi-earthquake-intl-hnk/index.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Indonesia quake kills at least 42, injures hundreds". Reuters. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  4. "Bangunan Bertingkat di Mamuju Dilaporkan Ambruk Akibat Gempa M 6,2". Detik. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  5. "M 5.7 - 31 km S of Mamuju, Indonesia". USGS-ANSS. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  6. https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/14/asia/indonesia-sulawesi-earthquake-intl-hnk/index.html
  7. Template:Cite anss
  8. 8.0 8.1 Socquet A.; Simons W.; Vigny C.; McCaffrey R.; Subarya C.; Sarsito D.; Ambrosius B.; Spakman W. (2006). "Microblock rotations and fault coupling in SE Asia triple junction (Sulawesi, Indonesia) from GPS and earthquake slip vector data". Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 111 (B8): B08409. Bibcode:2006JGRB..111.8409S. doi:10.1029/2005JB003963.
  9. Template:Cite anss
  10. Bergman, S.C.; Coffield, D.Q.; Talbot, J.P.; Garrard, R.A. (1996). "Tertiary Tectonic and magmatic evolution of western Sulawesi and the Makassar Strait, Indonesia: evidence for a Miocene continent-continent collision". In Blundell, D.J.; Hall, R. (eds.). Tectonic Evolution of Southeast Asia. Geological Society, Special Publications. 106. pp. 391–429. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.1996.106.01.25. ISBN 9781897799529.
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  12. "Kantor Gubernur Sulbar Ambruk, Ini Analisis BMKG soal Gempa di Majene" (in Indonesian). Detik. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "BMKG : Gempa Majene Merusak" (in Indonesian). Media Indonesia. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
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  22. "BMKG Ungkap Kemungkinan Tsunami Akibat Gempa Susulan di Majene" (in Indonesian). Detik. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
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  63. "Gubernur Sulsel Terima Laporan Gempa Majene: Kantor-Rumah Sakit Hancur" (in Indonesian). Detik. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  64. "Pemkot Palopo Kirim 20 Tenaga Medis-Damkar Bantu Korban Gempa Sulbar" (in Indonesian). Detik. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
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  68. "JK Kirim Relawan PMI dan Obat-obatan untuk Korban Gempa Majene" (in Indonesian). Tempo. Retrieved 15 January 2021.

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