UPDATE: Indonesia searches for victims as quake kills 29

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BANDA ACEH, Indonesia: Soldiers, police and volunteers fanned out across an earthquake-damaged region of western Indonesia on Wednesday, scouring the debris of fallen homes and landslides for possible victims of a temblor that killed at least 29 people and injured hundreds.

The magnitude-6.1 quake struck Tuesday afternoon at a depth of just 10 kilometers (6 miles) and was centered on the far western tip of Sumatra island in Aceh province.  
 
Twelve people were killed and 70 others were injured by a landslide or collapsing buildings in Bener Meriah district, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.  
 
Fauzi, head of the local mitigation agency, said about 600 houses and building were damaged in the district, where many residents were still staying in tents outside their homes.  
 
“What we need right now are tents, since many people prefer to stay outside,” said Fauzi, who like many Indonesians uses a single name. “They all are afraid of aftershocks.”  
 
In neighboring Central Aceh district, 17 people were killed and about 350 were injured, said Subhan Sahara, head of the local mitigation agency.  
 
Nugroho said about 1,500 houses and buildings were damaged by the quake, which also triggered landslides and caused hundreds of people to be evacuated to 10 temporary shelters.  
 
Rescuers and other assistance teams arrived in Bener Meriah, while the air force dispatched aircraft to the region, Nugroho said.  
 
“We are now concentrating on searching for people who may be trapped under the rubble,” said Rusli M. Saleh, the deputy district chief of Bener Meriah.  
 
He said at least 25 of the injured in his district were hospitalized in intensive care.  
 
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean.  
 
In 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Aceh triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries. - AP

Acehnese men carry the body of a victim of the earthquake that rocked the region on Tuesday, during a funeral in Ketol, central Aceh, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Soldiers, police and volunteers fanned out across an earthquake-damaged region of western Indonesia on Wednesday, scouring the debris of fallen homes and landslides for possible victims of a temblor that killed dozens of people and injured hundreds. (AP Photo/Syahrol Rizal)

This picture shows a damaged house in Blang Mancung on July 3, 2013 following an earthquake on July 2. Rescuers battled through landslides and blocked roads on July 3, to reach survivors from an earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province that killed at least 24 people, including several children who died when a mosque collapsed. AFP PHOTO / FIKRI RAMADHAVI

Indonesian officials and villagers use a backhoe to search for people believed to be trapped in a collapsed mosque in Blang Mancung on July 3, 2013 following an earthquake on July 2. Rescuers battled through landslides and blocked roads on July 3, to reach survivors from an earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province that killed at least 24 people, including several children who died when a mosque collapsed. AFP PHOTO / FIKRI RAMADHAVI

An Acehnese woman grieves over the body of her baby in an ambulance who died during the quake in Lampahan village in Aceh province on July 2, 2013. A powerful earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province flattened buildings and sparked landslides July 2, killing at least five people and injuring dozens in a region devastated by the quake-triggered tsunami of 2004. -- AFP PHOTO

Earthquake victims receive medical treatment outside a community health center in Bener Meriah, Aceh province, Indonesia, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. The magnitude-6.1 quake struck at a depth of just 10 kilometers (6 miles) and was centered 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of the town of Bireun on the western tip of Sumatra island, the U.S. Geological Survey said. -- AP Photo


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