Death toll from Indonesia earthquake climbs to 90

Search and rescue team recovered 18 more people from rubble, say authorities

Death toll from Indonesia earthquake climbs to 90

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia's Sulawesi Island last week rose to 90 as bodies of six more people were found during search and rescue operations, the country's disaster agency said Tuesday.

The National Disaster Management Agency reported that 79 people were killed in Mamuju Regency and 11 in Majene Regency. Meanwhile, search and rescue teams recovered 18 more people from the rubble.

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck six kilometers (3.73 miles) northeast of Majene city on Friday, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

A disaster emergency response status was declared in West Sulawesi province for 14 days from Jan. 15 to 28.

Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo visited Mamuju Regency on Tuesday to observe the conditions of evacuees and the evacuation process.

He said the government buildings collapsed by the earthquake will be rebuilt so that public services could run back immediately.

The government will also provide financial aid for damaged houses, the president stated.

"The government will provide aid of Rp.50 million ($3,554) for heavily damaged houses, Rp.25 million ($1,777) for moderately damaged houses, and Rp.10 million ($710) for lightly damaged houses," he added.

Earthquakes regularly strike parts of Indonesia since the country lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire.

In 1969, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 rocked Majene, killing 64 people and injuring 96 others.