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At least 96 killed, nearly 70,000 displaced as quake, floods hit Indonesia

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The death toll from a strong earthquake and floods in the central parts of Indonesia has risen to 96, with nearly 70,000 people forced to flee home and take shelter, the National Disaster Management Agency said Monday.

A total of 81 people were killed after the 6.2-magnitude quake and the 5.9-magnitude aftershock struck West Sulawesi province on Thursday and Friday, and 15 people were reported dead in South Kalimantan province as floods have hit the province since Jan. 14, the agency’s spokesman Raditya Jati said.

The quakes have forced about 28,000 people to take shelter in 25 evacuation centers in West Sulawesi province’s city of Mamuju and district of Majene, while the floods caused nearly 40,000 others to take shelter in South Kalimantan province, Jati said.

The number of houses damaged by the quakes rose to 1,150 units in the district, and five school buildings were also destroyed there, he said.

The assessment of risks of the quakes in the city and the district was still going on, Jati said.

Fearing the possibility of further spread of COVID-19 among the evacuees, rapid tests will be applied to them and the shelters for the displaced people will be separated from each other, according to the agency’s head Doni Monardo.

“There will be antigen tests to ensure that the evacuees have not been infected by the COVID-19 virus,” Monardo said.

Meanwhile, in South Kalimantan province, the floods have inundated nearly 25,000 houses, jati said.

An emergency status has been declared there since Jan. 14 and the risk assessment has been undertaken, he added.

The province has been hit by massive floods since Jan. 14 after heavy rains pounded the area, according to the agency.

(XINHUA)

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