The Most Reverend Piero Pioppo
Apostolic Nuncio in Indonesia
With regard to the earthquake which occurred today in Indonesia, I would ask you kindly to transmit the following message to the appropriate ecclesiastical and civil authorities:
Saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of property caused by the violent earthquake in Indonesia, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this natural disaster. He prays for the repose of the deceased, the healing of the injured and the consolation of all who grieve. In a particular way, he offers encouragement to the civil authorities and those involved in the continuing search and rescue efforts. Upon all His Holiness willingly invokes the divine blessings of strength and hope.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State
Those in charge of emergency operations expect the number of victims to rise.
Mitra Manakarra hospital in Majene, a five-story building totally collapsed: two security guards are believed to be under the rubble.
According to the Indonesian geophysics agency (Bnpb), the earthquake occurred at a depth of 38 km. Minor tremors occurred in Mamuju, 39 km from the epicentre; Polewali, at 58 km distance; Majene at 62 km distance.
The inhabitants of the area fled their homes in search of shelter outside.
The rescue teams are launching an appeal for some urgent necessities: tents, medical services, heavy vehicles, communication tools, instant foods, masks, medicines.
A few hours before the earthquake, in the same district there was a quake of magnitude 5.9, which damaged several buildings and injured one person.
According to the BNPB, in the last 24 hours, a series of tremors caused at least three landslides and cut off electricity in the area.
Indonesia is a nation with high tectonic activity, being on the so-called "ring of fire", which causes earthquakes and eruptions of volcanoes. (Edited from Asia NewsIT - DW - and Vatican.va)