Makassar, South Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The Sulawesi Earthquake Study Center (PSGS) has called for earthquake mitigation to minimize the impact of aftershocks observed in Mamuju District, West Sulawesi, and surrounding areas in the past two years.

"Our worries are about the mitigation because it seems that Mamuju city was heavily damaged (in the earthquake) in 2021, but the (state of) mitigation is not like in other cities. Hence, we encourage it to be intensified quickly," Director of PSGS Ardy Arsyad said at a press conference in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Saturday.

Mamuju City, the capital of West Sulawesi Province, is located in an active fault area, he stressed.

Based on research, Mamuju City has a fairly long history of seismic disasters, with quakes recorded in 1967, 1969, 1972, 1984, 1985, 2012, 2021, and 2022, he informed.

According to him, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake that occurred on January 15, 2021, caused 108 casualties and damaged hundreds of houses, buildings, and facilities.

An earthquake of 5.8 magnitude hit Mamuju again on June 8, 2022, leaving many people injured and damaging some buildings.

The series of disasters, Arsyad said, has shown the city's vulnerability to earthquakes as its location is relatively close to the Makassar Strait fault.

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Based on deterministic estimates, the acceleration of earthquakes in Mamuju city can reach 0.41g, and probabilistically, it could reach 0.35g for the 200-year return period and 0.46g for the 500-year return period, he pointed out.

Currently, he added, Mamuju city and its surrounding areas have been designated as red zones on the earthquake vulnerability map, although in 2002, the city was listed in the green zone.

Therefore, PSGS has asked the central and local governments to systematically strengthen disaster mitigation and make new regulations on earthquake-resistant infrastructure development, as well as provide education on evacuation and self-protection techniques.

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Translator: M Fatir, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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