Jakarta (ANTARA) - At least 493 people died and 68 others went missing in 1,423 natural disaster events in different parts of Indonesia between January 1 and June 15, 2021, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

The catastrophes affected 5,206,534 people, many of whom were forced to seek refuge elsewhere, as per BNPB data accessed by ANTARA here on Wednesday.

Floods, whirlwinds, landslides, and bush and forest fires were the most common disaster events reported in the country. As many as 135,187 homes and 2,920 public facilities were damaged in their aftermath.

According to the BNPB, Indonesia recorded 592 floods, 394 whirlwinds, and 288 landslides in the first half of this year.

In addition, the archipelago experienced 108 bush and forest fires, 20 events involving abrasion and high waves, 19 disastrous earthquakes, and two droughts.

The disaster events, which left 12,853 people injured, also damaged 1,367 educational facilities, 1,207 houses of worship, 346 health facilities, 492 office buildings, and 282 bridges.

Highlighting Indonesia's vulnerability to a variety of natural hazards, BNPB spokesperson Raditya Jati has appealed to the people to remain alert.

This year, one of the deadliest catastrophes that Indonesia experienced was the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that rattled the districts of Mamuju and Majene in West Sulawesi province on January 15.

The quake claimed more than 100 lives and acutely affected several residents in sub-districts such as Mamuju, Tapalang, Tapalang Barat, Simboro Kepulauan, Kalukku, and Bonehau.

The earthquake damaged 9,179 houses in Mamuju district alone, the BNPB reported.

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Sulawesi Island has repeatedly witnessed deadly earthquakes. On September 28, 2018, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit several parts of Central Sulawesi province, triggering a tsunami and soil liquefaction in Palu, the provincial capital.

The earthquake claimed 2,102 lives, left 4,612 persons injured, displaced 78,994 people, and rendered 680 others missing.

A total of 68,451 homes incurred serious damage in the quake.

Given the large number of rotting corpses, the authorities and humanitarian workers were forced to resort to mass burials.

Indonesia recorded its deadliest earthquake, which claimed 170 thousand lives, on December 26, 2004.

The undersea megathrust quake rattled Banda Aceh and several other parts of Aceh province, triggering a giant tsunami, which laid to waste several parts of the city located on the northernmost tip of Sumatra Island. (INE)

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Translator: Asep F, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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