We have deployed volunteers to several quake-hit areas to evacuate the victims to nearby hospitals and clinics
Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) of the Maluku provincial chapter has deployed its volunteers to facilitate the evacuation of victims of the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that had rattled the provincial capital of Ambon on Thursday.

"We have deployed volunteers to several quake-hit areas to evacuate victims to nearby hospitals and clinics," Herry Latuheru, chief of the PMI provincial chapter, stated on Friday.

The PMI provincial chapter also readied several ambulances to expedite the evacuation of the quake victims.

The PMI provincial chapter is working in cooperation with the regional government and local disaster mitigation board to evacuate the quake victims.

On Friday, the PMI provincial chapter joined the Ambon City chapter of PMI to conduct humanitarian duties encompassing combing through the various affected areas in search of victims.

"We have also coordinated with the PMI Headquarters to distribute aid to Ambon to alleviate the suffering of victims. Moreover, the number of residents taking refuge is quite high," he revealed.

Related news: Ambon's 6.5-magnitude earthquake leaves 23 dead
Related news: Ambon struck by 6.5-magnitude earthquake

An earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, had hit the Maluku provincial capital of Ambon on Thursday at 8:46 a.m. local time.

The epicenter of the quake was located 40 kilometers (km) northeast of Ambon, at a depth of 10 km beneath the seabed.

At least 23 people lost their lives, while over 100 others were injured in the quake.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that some 15 thousand people had fled their homes since the powerful quake hit the city on Thursday.

"The Maluku disaster mitigation agency (BPBD) had recorded as of 9:53 p.m. local time on Thursday that the death toll reached 23, of which 14 are in the Central Maluku District, while thousands others have sought refuge," BNPB spokesman Agus Wibowo remarked in a statement here on Friday.

Thousands of residents had yet to return to their damaged homes as a precautionary measure against further aftershocks.

A total of 54 aftershocks were felt following the powerful quake.

Related news: PMI launches restoration program for Banten's tsunami victims

Translator: Aditia Aulia Rohman/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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